Canelés are a unique French pastry that are often described as portable creme brulés. The cakes have a caramelized exterior and a dense, custardy interior that set it apart from just about any other baked good out there. Over on the Craftsy blog (it’s free!), I’ll walk you through How to Make French Canelés at Home. The process is not difficult, but it takes some patience because the batter needs to be made a minimum of 24 hours in advance for best results. You’re also going to need a special mold and I recommend working with silicone, which is easy to use and much less expensive than the traditional metal molds that are used in bakeries. You can always upgrade to the pricier molds down the line, but the silicone molds are a fantastic starting point – especially if you’re not planning to bake them on a weekly basis.
Canelés are usually flavored with vanilla beans, but you can bring in other flavors once you have the basic technique down. For instance, you can stir in some lemon or orange zest, along with the vanilla, or add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg or other spices. They’re best when they’re fresh out of the oven, so be prepared to sample the fruits of your labor as soon as they are cool enough to eat!!