Saturday, 4 February 2012

Perks of the Job...........................

We travelled South near to Angouleme thismorning to a Brocante held partly inside & partly outside-thankGOODness for the partly Inside-OMG-it was FREEZING! Despite being dressed up suitable for Exploring the Arctic-I literally couldn't stand was Painfully bitter cold and I felt sorry in my heart for the brave souls standing their stalls outside. I did however find some lovely bits and pieces in the short space of time we braved the elements-and was happy I could contribute to their takings and make the morning seem just a little more worthwhile, though after spending an hour or so browsing the indoor stalls-I was sad to see certain outdoor sellers had given up & left because we'd planned some heavier purchases en-route back to the van-it was not to be. Maybe we will come across them again tomorrow-who knows? Inside the Salle de Fetes building the temperature was more welcoming and we headed straight for the Refreshments for a warming Tasse de Cafe & a portion of Chocolate Gateau which John & I shared between us.We discovered a marvelous choice of home baking delights-including some unusual looking little Fluted cakes we have never seen before which upon enquiring discovered are a Speciality of Bordeaux........take my word for it-they are Delicieux!!!-so we thought you may like the recipe!........

milk, warmed to 50° c / 122° f
whole egg
vanilla bean
canola oil
granulated sugar
icing sugar
gold rum
*For the molds
icing sugar
For the molds
  • 100 g (1 cup) flour
  • 50 g (7 tbsp.) icing sugar
  • Butter
The day before:
  1. Boil the milk with the vanilla bean (split in half) for a few minutes; remove from the heat and let cool to about 50° C (122° F).
  2. Beat the whole egg and the yolks with the sugar; blend in the warm milk.
  3. Let rest for 1 hour, then remove the vanilla bean.
  4. Add the sifted flour, oil and rum; pour into a bowl; cover and refrigerate overnight.
Baking day:
  1. Preheat the oven to 170° C (340° F).
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour and icing sugar.
  3. Butter the molds; fill them with the flour-sugar mixture; turn them over on the table and tap sharply so that only a thin layer remains in each mold.
  4. Fill the molds three-quarters full with the batter prepared the day before; bake for 90 minutes. Don't worry if your cannelés have a "burnt head" - it's normal for them to be very brown. They are done when the tip of a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Important: don't forget to unmold your cannelés as soon as they come out of the oven; otherwise they'll stick to the molds and break.
Much has been written about the origin of this specialty of Bordeaux... Legend has it that the sisters of the Annonciade created the cannelé (meaning "fluted") in the 16th century; their convent was located close to the St. André hospital in Bordeaux. The nuns would collect the flour from the holds of the ships (Bordeaux was a flourishing port at the time) and prepare these little cakes for the city's most underprivileged.
But the truth is certainly otherwise: the cannelé is a relative of the canole, a little cake from the Limousin, which appeared in Bordeaux during the 17th century. They were consumed in such quantities that a canole makers' guild existed with the exclusive right to make this pastry.
Then the cannelé was forgotten until it reappeared in the early 20th century, flavored with rum and vanilla, and baked in copper molds (to promote caramelization) that produced twelve fluted cakes at a time. The cannelé has a caramelized exterior with a soft tender center. Its appetizing dark brown color and its thin caramelized crust are the result of a long baking time. Cannelés will keep for 4 to 5 days at room temperature and they can also be frozen, but it's best to enjoy them the day they're made so that they stay crisp... otherwise they become soft, which is a great pity!


  1. Well, I think you deserve a medal! It was far tooo cold for us! Also, it was son's 19th birthday and so a good excuse NOT to go out to the fair at Ruffec...

    1. ....we really would have liked to have ventured out to Ruffec but we were basically snowed in and couldn't be bothered-so we stayed inside and had a Rare treat of a scrummy Traditionally English Roast Beef dinner and all the trimmings-something we give up most weekends to go trawling up and down the country for Treasures!

  2. Yes, cold weather is definitely not good! We (in Finland) just had presidential elections and the candidates suffered in -20 degrees (Celcius) talking to potential voters in open air... Today the temperature suddenly rose to -10 C and it's like heaven - it's feels almost warm! My next (Finnish) brocante is definitely indoors... Good luck in hunting all the nice French bits and pieces :-)

    1. Ahhh-Thankyou so much!I certainly don't envy you in Finland with weather that extreme,but I DO envy you the spectacular scenery-we have Dobermann friends in Norway and we marvel at the beautiful Pictures they send us!The sun is out here this morning but it is still cold,around -5 degrees,that must be HOT compared to where you are!!

  3. Hello
    Oooh I love finding yummy looking recipes like this one - I can't wait to try them - these are called Canneles?
    Often when I make a french recipe, it never tastes as good as the original, and I always feel it is because of the flour. The French have the best flour in the world - if we could discover the secret of their whole process, then even I could make a baguette taste somewhere near as good as the French ones!!!!!!!!

    I spoke to my daughter (in Burgundy) last night and she said she hasn't felt cold like it for years, and she has a new baby poor darling!

    Shane x

  4. Hi,
    Just found your blog via ebay, trying to bid on your grain sacs!! not successful so far. I know how freezing it can be in France, the cakes look delicious, and I will be printing off the recipe. Lovely blog.
    have a great week.