I don’t regularly bake gluten-free, but I gladly take up the challenge when going to Italy to see my boyfriend’s family. His little brother has celiac disease, and I enjoy baking a batch of biscuits for him when I come and visit. This week, he is coming to London for the week, so I have been preparing a gluten-free menu for all of us, as well as some bread and cookies just for him.
Cannelés are a traditional pastry from Bordeaux and they are famously very difficult to make. You wouldn’t think so looking at the ingredients: how wrong can you go with flour, eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and rhum? But in fact, the difficulty does not lie in the ingredients but in the method…I made 4 attempts for now and finally came up with acceptable cannelés, so I thought I’d share a few learnings.
I love, love LOVE boiled eggs (or “oeufs a la coque” as we called them). Dipping my little bread and butter soldiers in the yolk makes me feel like I am 5 all over again. Boiled eggs was a classic for dinner when I was a kid. My sister and I would finish them as fast as possible, then turn them on their heads while my parents had their back turned (or did they?) and pretend we had not eaten them and were refusing to. My mom or dad would then pretend to be very angry, and tap the egg with a spoon to “discover”, oh wonder, that the shell was empty. We were going through this ritual almost every time and I remember thinking “I am so clever, can’t believe they still fall for it..hahaha”…. yeah right.
Anyway, when I found duck eggs in my weekly shopping delivery (I always do my grocery shopping online) instead of the chicken eggs I had ordered, I thought it screamed for giant oeufs a la coque!
In my last post I was telling you how I learned to make eclairs at the Cake And Bake Show a few weeks ago, and how I had bought all the ‘necessary’ accessories, as if I was going to bake a batch every day. So first, let me tell you that apart from a good piping bag, an oven and TIME, you don’t really need anything special to make eclairs. I got myself a fancy eclairs silicon mold with breathing holes… well it is nice but you could do just as well with a normal baking sheet, which is what I did to make the mini-eclairs.