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Episode 1: Canelés de Bordeaux

Episode 1: Canelés de Bordeaux

My first episode. It’s out in the world! Yikes and holy vulnerable moment. This process is not what I expected. I learned a plethora of information about documenting all the many little steps in a complicated recipe and translating it into a video. I also made canelés de Bordeaux about fifty times. I’m not going to be ready to bite into another one for awhile! But boy are they delicious and totally worth the effort of this recipe.

The most beautiful thing about this episode is its completion. I did it. Is it perfect? No. The recipe is perfect and will produce a perfect canelé! That’s the point, right? The episode production isn’t quite what I had in mind but I am proud that every single shot and detail of it was curated by me and my extremely supportive husband, AKA The Camera Man. The Satisfied Cook can only grow and develop in beauty as I learn. Carving out the beginning is simply the first step.

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Canelés de Bordeaux are a labor of LOVE. From start to finish, they take two days to make. These little French pastries are finicky and this is why I love them. Maybe I relate to them (wink, nod). When looking for content for my first episode I asked myself, “How often am I pushing myself to create something that is burdensome in nature?” It would be easy to make a simple recipe and put it out there but what about a difficult one? Why not invite a little struggle?

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Our culture is continuously trying to remove onerous activities and replace it with convenience, especially when it comes to our food supply and how we feed ourselves. 30 minute meals or crock-pot meal planning. However delicious and convenient, I don’t think the “quick fix” is always a healthy process because we, in turn, remove the opportunity to problem solve and persevere in the kitchen. I think most of this is due to the fact that our time is now so limited. Our time for creation and ideation has been sucked dry with productivity and living fast-paced lives. We don’t have time for mistakes because we don’t have time to start over if we make them. We are so in tune with news, the location of our friends on Twitter, and what we need to do next to be productive. We are diabolically connected and therefore, paradoxically disconnected. I think we are very disconnected from ourselves and with this sort of detachment, it becomes easier and more of a necessity to make something quick. Unfortunately, this also removes any stock in pride we might gain by failing. We are just trying to keep our head above water. We just don’t have time to fail anymore. Over time, this will be a massive injustice if we can’t carve out space for being the creators we are made to be. After all, we are human.

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I am not against quick meals, I am speaking from my own personal life experience and from a place of missing true creativity and really feeling like a human. A couple of years ago, we sold our so-called “dream house” and we escaped to Italy for three months before moving our family across the country. We felt like we were living a life outside of ourselves, moving fast-paced and building a business but leaving our most human selves in the dust. A disconnected marriage while navigating parenthood is not the life we envisioned. Then again, who does hope for that to happen? Somehow it did, slowly, piece by piece, over the course of a couple of years. You can have all of the appearances of the so-called “American dream” but feel like you are living the antithesis of a dream.

Inspired by  The First Days of Spring,  Salvador Dali

Inspired by The First Days of Spring, Salvador Dali

Since then, we have moved cross-country twice, discovering what it means for us to be connected as a family again and finding out what we want from life. This took some serious slowing down and detox. We also drank a lot of wine, had a lot of meaningful conversations, and found the laughter we missed. Looking back, we had to let go of stuff so that we could strip our lives down to just our family. We even had to let go of some relationships and the process wasn’t easy. In all of this stripping away, I realized that as humans in the present world, we rarely get a chance to give our brains a break. We rarely give ourselves a chance to jump at something, even if it’s scary, because we are so occupied with staying afloat in our race for success, in the false comfort of what we call “security”. Our gray matter is on overdrive and it makes it so easy to fall asleep to what brings us into deeper connection, a passion for living, a zest for walking this beautiful Earth.

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The kitchen is a place where I feel like I can connect to a more human part of my being. I can get dirty in flour and sticky with candy-making flops. I can ferment foods and pureé them, only to discover the flavor combination didn’t work. I create and I fail. My second attempts are always preceded with eye-rolling and the muttering of expletives, but the outcome is always pleasing because I learned by losing.

I know this sounds like I am trying to solve the problem of a fast-paced culture with making small French pastries and maybe I am. But I think there are micro ways in which we can slow down and satisfy ourselves by creating something new, making something difficult in the kitchen, and finding a new sense of self in the struggle of the process. This is the story of how The Satisfied Cook came to life for me and I hope, with everything in my being, that it brings you life and ignites the passions stirring below the surface. It is possible to find ways in which to feel human again. Digging into the dirt, building a fire, cooking over that fire, growing something from seed, slowly down, and giving your hard-working brain the rest it deserves.

Canelés de Bordeaux

Yield: 12 canelés, 2" molds
prep time: 48 hourcook time: 55 Mtotal time: 48 H & 55 M
I searched high and low and this recipe yielded the most perfect canelé. Using copper is the only way to yield that caramelized crispy exterior on your canelé.


  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped & pod
  • 500 mL of whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 100 grams bread flour
  • 200 grams cane sugar
  • 50 grams butter, melted
  • 4 tbsp dark rum
  • 40 grams beeswax
  • 60 grams unsalted butter
Preparing the Copper Molds
  • Use seasoned copper molds.  If you buy new copper molds, rub them with butter and place them in a 500 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes.  This will prepare them for your first batch of canelés. 
  • When you are ready to bake the canelés and the batter has rested for 48 hours, coat the molds with beeswax and butter.  I used 40 grams of beeswax and 60  grams of unsalted butter.  Melt the wax and butter together and coat the inside of the room temperature molds, working quickly and turning them onto a cooling rack with paper towels below to catch the drips.  You want a nice, even coat on the inside of the molds.  Once all of the molds have been coated and the coating has set, turn them over, opening side up, onto a foil-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for 10 minutes before filling them. 
Canelé Batter & Baking
  • Put the milk in a saucepan. Cut the vanilla bean pod lengthwise and scrape all of seeds out with the back of your knife. Add the pod and seeds to the milk. Heat the milk on medium-high heat until it starts to simmer. Remove from heat and let it sit for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, remove the pod.
  • Meanwhile, combine the sugar and the eggs and mix well. Once the milk has sat for 2 minutes, add 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture to the eggs and sugar, all while whisking continuously. This will temper the eggs, so add the milk slowly and whisk continuously. Add the flour and combine. Add the rest of the milk, continuing to whisk as you add in a slow, steady stream. Add the rum and mix well.
  • Cover the batter and let it rest in the refrigerator for 48 hours. I have tested this portion of the recipe by not letting it rest and it does not yield the same flavor. Let the batter rest for 48 hours and the flavor of the vanilla and the rum drastically improves.
  • Preheat your oven to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you have followed the steps to prepare your molds for the batter. Remove the foil-lined baking sheet with the beeswax and butter coated molds. Thoroughly whisk the batter for about 2 minutes and fill each mold, leaving 1 cm at the top. Immediately place cold molds  in the oven. Bake at 550 for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 375 for an additional 45-55 minutes.  I have found that 45 minutes does the trick with my oven. 
  • Remove from the oven and immediately turn out the canelés from the mold onto a cooling sheet with paper towels below to catch the excess melting coating from inside the molds.  Let the canelés cool to room temperature, about an hour and a half, before enjoying.  These have to be eaten the same day! They lose their crunch after the first day. 
  • I like to make a batch of creme pât or torched Swiss meringue piped onto the tops.  I have also made Campari marmalade to accompany them, but really, canelés are a stand alone delight.  And espresso or glass of brandy is my favorite beverage to enjoy alongside these delicious treats from Bordeaux!


How to cook Canelés de Bordeaux

  1. Do not open the oven door during the baking process. The heat must remain inside otherwise you will have unevenly baked canelés. The cold molds going into the extremely hot oven is part of the process in creating the caramelized exterior. Do not cut into them before they have completely cooled otherwise the center will fall. The heat must redistribute and cool completely for you to see the beautiful custard texture on the inside.
Created using The Recipes Generator
You’ll come to see that a man learns nothing from winning. The act of losing, however, can elicit great wisdom. Not least of which is, uh... how much more enjoyable it is to win. It’s inevitable to lose now and again.
— quote from Albert Finney's character in "A Good Year"
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