Our Novelties : French Alsa Cannelés
Bordeaux don’t only master wine. With an incredible flavor of rum and vanilla, cannelés, also known as cannelés bordelais as they come from Bordeaux, are among French most famous pastries.
They are easily recognizable by their flutes and their glossy and amber, almost dark brown, color. The crunchy caramelized crust make an exquisite contrast to the smooth, sweet filling, incredibly fragrant with rum and vanilla.
Among controversial origins, the most common story is that those fluted cakes were invented by the nuns of a convent in the 16th century, from one of their specialties, a fried pastry rolled around a tube called the canelot or canelat. The cylinder shape would come from this. They were even used to make these cakes using flour remains found in the port of Bordeaux, which was very active. Archaeological excavations in the convent have failed to find the so characteristic molds and confirm this origin.
To that opposes another version which I like better. Another treasure of the Bordeaux region is wine. A winemaking method (called bonding in French) uses egg whites to clarify and refine wine. Its use makes it possible to bring down to the bottom of the barrel suspended particles. There were lots or egg yolks leftovers. Associated with products that were easily found in the Bordeaux trade port, rum and vanilla, the recipe was gradually developed, to prevent from spoiling.
The word cannelé means fluted due to the circular grooves of the mold. However, we don’t know why the mold have this shape.
A brotherhood dedicated to cannelés, born in 1985, was relaunched in 2014 to protect and promote this delight. They are trying to establish the name with a single n, canelé. Who knows why.
The classic size is 6 cm high but the French nowadays tend to prefer little two-bite morsels as in this recipe, grabbed here and there, served with tea or coffee.