There is nothing worse than baking for a party or a group and not being able to please everyone. While it is difficult — or near impossible — to meet everyone’s preferences it is another thing altogether for dietary restrictions. It is why I tried for so long to figure out the “secret” of baking Zimtsterne for my lactose-intolerant mother. It is also why I started wondering if a simple ingredient replacement to the canneles recipe I made earlier this year could make a gluten-free cannelés and thus edible for my coworker.
Oh, and the Zimtsterne? It is all about keeping the dough drier rather than wetter.
What I love about the cannelés recipe is that it is super easy. The ingredients are, more or less, simply combined in a food processor. Making gluten-free cannelés is no different. For a gluten-free cannelés version I swapped the cake flour from the original with almond flour. The almond flour adds a nice nutty flavor that is complimented by the vanilla and rum.
But the gluten-free cannelés are a little softer with almond flour and tend to cook on the outside fairly quickly while remaining softer inside. Keep an eye on the pastries while baking and adjust the baking time and temperature as needed. If time is running low and the edges look dark but the centers are still golden brown, increase baking time but lower the temperature some. Also, keep the tin well greased. The almond flour version tends to bake to the mold very quickly. Both tips will save you cleaning burnt pastries out of the cannelés mold later on. Believe me, I know from first hand experience.
(Based on Anne Zimmerman’s recipe at thekitchn)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 3/4 cup almond flour flour
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine or baker’s sugar (note: see step 1 of the recipe)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon dark rum or 1 1/2 teaspoon of rum extract
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla
- If you are unable to fine superfine or baker’s sugar, pulse the sugar in a food processor until a fine powder.
- Combine the milk and 1 tablespoon of vanilla in a saucepan and set over low heat. Heat to 183 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a food processor, combine the butter, flour and salt. Pulse until combined.
- Add the sugar to the food processor. Pulse until combined.
- Add the egg yolks to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture combines to a soft golden with a dough-like consistency. (It won’t combine to a proper “dough.”)
- With the food processor on, quickly and steadily pour the hot milk into the mixture in the food processor. Pulse until combined.
- Pour the batter through a fine sieve and into a container.
- Stir in the rum and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
- Let the mixture cool then cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 375 if using a convection oven.
- Remove the batter from the refrigerator and stir to recombine anything that separated overnight.
- Thoroughly grease your cannelé mold.
- Pour the batter into the molds leaving a brief gap between the batter and the top of the mold. (During baking, the pastries will swell like cupcakes with rounded tops but will bake down over time.)
- Place in the oven. Bake for 2 hours or 1 hour and 15 minutes if using a convection oven.
- Serve warm.