How to make Cannelés de Bordeaux

Making desserts has never been my thing, also in cooking school (highschool) we learned how to make lots of nice desserts it didn’t crumble my cookie 😉 😉 😉 Nevertheless from time to time I like eating  like a nice ‘tarte tatin’ or ‘rice pie’… I don’t reallyt make them myself as you can buy them very well prepared in lots of bakeryshops. A dessert or better ‘ friandise‘ I was very keen on learning how to make as you don’t find easily (well prepared ones even more difficult) are ‘Cannelés de Bordeaux’. When a few weeks ago I got served some cannelés at restaurant Ardent and I just had to ask the chef how he made them as even though the recipe isn’t difficult there are always a few tips and tricks you can’t find in books… I even pushed my luck that far on asking him very very kindly if he could maybe show me :-). Lucky me Wouter van Steenwinkel is a very friendly guy who was more than willing to teach me all the tips and tricks to make my beloved ‘Cannelés de Bordeaux’ 🙂 (and to give me a few to eat at home that never got  home 🙂 🙂 )

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The recipe below is to make ca.75 cannelés. Before we start I must tell you that the batter must be made a day in advance before baking!! The good news is that the batter can be kept for almost 2 weeks in the fridge.  It is also advisable to prepare the cannelés in silicone baking tin (if you have stainless steel they’ll also work, but they don’t give an extra value to the result)

Ingredients:

  • 1l milk
  • 100g butter (cut in small dice)
  • 1 dried vanilla fruit (NO EXTRACT, THE ACTUAL FRUIT)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 eggyolks
  • 500g sugar
  • 200g flour
  • Brown rum
  • Salt
  • Beeswax (for cooking not for cleaning) or butter to grease the baking tin
  • A needle

Getting Started

The batter:

  • Put a the milk, butter and vanilla fruit (but open) to a boil on a medium heat

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  • Take a large bowl to make the batter.
  • Put all the eggs together with the sugar and start mixing them. Just mixing as there doesn’t need to be too much air in the eggs….

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  • Add the flour and a pinch of salt. Mix again until you don’t see the flour anymore.

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  • When the butter had been totally dissolved in the milk add the milk to the egg mix, just a little bit at a time en kip mixing with a whisk(so NOT all in one time )

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  • When you added all the milk add a bit of brown rum. How much is up to you (it speaks for itself that you shouldn’t be adding a whole bottle. Let’s say a shot glass will do 🙂 don’t act as if you don’t have a glass like that at home from a crazy tequila night ;-). Give a last whisk.

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  • Sieve the batter into a bucket or other recipient, something in which you can put the batter to put it in your fridge. Let it first cool down before putting in fridge.

Baking the cannelés:

  • Pre-heat your oven at 200°C (392°F)
  • Give you batter a quit little mix with a whisk or ladle.
  • Lightly grease the baking tine with either melted butter or beeswax

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  • Pour the batter into the forms, but not all the way to the top as the cannelés will grow. SO keep it a few millimeters from the top.

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  • Put in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes
  • Change the oven temperature into 180°C (356°F)
  • Open the oven and sting the cannelés with a needle on the sides so they collaps

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  • Close the oven and let them bake for another 30minutes
  • After 30 minutes turn the form over on top of a baking tray and put the cannelés for a few more minutes (2) in the oven

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  • Take them out of the oven to cool down

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Enjoy!!

A special thanks to Wouter van Steenwinkel from Restaurant Ardent for making this happen 🙂

A million reasons to go to the Taste of Antwerp

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Not that I need that much convincing to go to the “Taste of Antwerp”, but maybe you guys do? So let me give you a looooooooot of reasons why shouldn’t miss this year’s edition that will take place from May 9th to 12th.

The first reason would already be the fact that some friends and acquaintances of mine are participating at this year’s edition, like 12 place du marché, Comocomo, mamakookt, De Schone van Boskoop (Michelin awarded), restaurant Ardent , ‘t Leeuwekopke and also Cheese masters Van Tricht… and if those names are not enough do check the rest of the list of participating restaurants and get blown away!! There are even some restaurants on it that I have on my wish list (some got added during the press conference 🙂 ) and I’m not only talking about the still to open “La Chapelle” 🙂

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This year’s edition has changed a bit according to last editions. First of all “Taste of Antwerp” changed the location from the Vlaamse/ Waalsekaai to Waagnatie (in Navigation system you need to enter Rijnkaai 150). Secondly, and I know it might seem like bad news at first, but since this year an entrance fee of 5 EUR will be asked… but in exchange and in addition to your “entrance ticket” they give you 2 beverage vouchers… so the entrance fee is more a symbolic fee if you ask me.

Cheese masters van tricht

Something else that is new on this year edition is the “Bowers & Wilkins Theater”. At this theater you’ll be able to follow master classes and cooking demonstrations from participating chefs, Beer & wine tastings, Autographing sessions, etc… The full schedule will soon come online.

I hear you think, this all sounds nice, but will the actual food cost me? Well the dishes will be costing between 4 and 7 EUR, which is a very reasonable price considering you’ll be able to try dishes from 3, 2 and 1 Michelin star awarded restaurants, explore new types of cuisines like Peruvian, Nepalees or Ethiopian. If you are as greedy as me and feel like trying everything from every restaurant, it might indeed get more expensive than imagined, but you guys won’t worry that is just very greedy me talking 😉

In case you feel like lifting it up a notch, you might consider taking the VIP-arrangement? This arrangement costs 99,99 EUR and has to be booked online via following link . But what do you get for this price? A very important question, I’ve listed it up for you:

1 + Entrance to Taste of Antwerp and the Bowers & Wilkins Theater (valid whole day)
2 + Access to the luxurious VIP pavilion.
3 + Reception by a hostess
4 + A glass of Perrier-Jouët champagne at arrival
5 + Coupons for Taste of Antwerp dishes with a value of 40 EUR
6 + Beer and cheese pairing with the Cheese masters Michel Van Tricht & Son and the Duvel Moortgat  Brewsery
7 + Beverage à volonté
8 + Goodie bag

You can check the Taste of Antwerp website for more details.

It doesn’t matter which formula you choose to come to the Taste of Antwerp, the most important of it all is that you can enjoy some of the best food Antwerp has to offer! Nothing better than friend, family and great food all in 1 spot! FYI I have already tried some of dishes that will be served and I can say for a fact they are tasty!

Anyway I could keep naming reason why to come, but I have to stop somewhere

I do hope to see you guys at the Taste of Antwerp!

Thursday May 9th between 14.00 – 24.00 u
Friday May 10th between 14.00 – 24.00 u
Saturday May 11th between 14.00 – 24.00 u
Sunday May 12th between 14.00 – 22.00 u

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A pupil in the footsteps of his master

Ardent

Last week I  thought it was time for some bounding time with my future brother in law (hope he doesn’t freek out me calling him this) and what better way than with food (knowing he’s a big food lover).  Deciding where to go was not too difficult; the name of restaurant Ardent came pretty quick as I already wanted to eat here for a while now! Especially after reading a lot of positive comments. Knowing that he had worked a while at “De schone van boskoop” (a restaurant I’ve already been quite a few times with my family when I was younger and I’ve always liked) and learned from a chef like Wouter Keersmaekers  I already had a small suspicion that he would also be a lover of local products and forgotten vegetables….And I was right, I could see the hand of the master in the “pupil’s” dishes and I’m pretty sure the pupil will soon be a master himself! All dishes were (for me) perfectly seasoned. I’m a bread lover (guilty as charged) , spreading real butter on it is like being in heaven. So trying something else when they serve butter is unlikely to happen, but I have to admit the little cup with a butternut “cream” with parmesan cheese on our table looked tempting… to make a long story short we were almost scraping the glazing off of the cup 🙂 (Need I say more?)

Deciding what to eat was again (like every time) the most difficult part of the evening as again (like every time) everything on the menu look and sounds tasty… so best alternative just taking the tasting menu. We took the 4 course menu (a 5 course menu is also available) with the matching wines.

Before we started our trip through Ardent’s menu they served us an “amuse” which was crispy pork with smoked duck breast which (after we had eaten shamefully emptied the butternut cup) was a great way to prepare and open our taste buds for all the delights still to come…

Crispy pork

The first stop of our trip was spicy Simmental tartar and fried langoustine with sourdough toast and horseradish cream. Correctly prepared (Langoustine also fried as it should) and too spicy and a balanced out dish if you ask me. It accompanied by a white German wine “S cuvee” that had a typical Mosel wine smell and taste which I love so much and which went very good with the subtle taste of the dish.

Simmental tartar and fried langoustine

The next stop shortly fried scallops with cauliflower in 3 modes, hand peeled grey north sea shrimps (so much better than the packages you buy in the shop) and parmesan sauce paired with this time a white Austrian wine called ‘Austrian Pepper. This paired wine was a bit more subtle then the previous one.

Scallops

Our last stop before my sweet tooth would get spoiled brought us braised pork cheek with truffle gravy and “macedoine” of parsley root and lentils. For people who are scared to order dishes like this, pork cheek is not fat, but rather subtle and tender meat! Definitely one of my favorites of the night together with maybe also my favorite wine of the night a red Portuguese wine called “dill” (like the herb), I unfortunately can’t remember the vineyard anymore 😦 (I’d suggest to go to Ardent and try it)

Braised pork cheek

As dessert they brought us a Vacharin which is freshly prepared vanilla ice cream with meringue, whipped cream, chocolate crumble and chocolate mousse… I honestly was afraid the portion would be too big, but lucky me it was just the right size and accompanied by a lovely Don PX Jerez wine that went really well with the chocolate flavor of the dish.

Vacharin

I can only compliment the young chef on his talent (and his team).I’m a fan!  It is true that there were a few minor things or points that would need some attention during our dinner, but I’m 100% that they only need some extra time to make a visit to this restaurant a perfect and even better experience!  (not even open for 6 months I think). One last quick word (I promise) about the  Ardent’s sommelier, he reminded me of Steven Wullaert (from restaurant NUANCE **). as he had the same sparkle and passion when talking about wine. (maybe even his way of talking, but then without the Ghent accent)

Keep up the good job! I will definitely be back at Ardent! (Not sure yet when,as too many restaurants still to try)

P.S: A message to my tableguest:  we’ll be having some new “bounding time” very soon and I have a feeling it’ll be at Wouter Keersmaekers’ place 🙂 just to show you where Ardent’s chef got his magic.

Restaurant Ardent:

Website: http://www.resto-ardent.be/

Address: Dageraadplaats 3, 2018 Antwerp – Belgium

Phone n°: +32 (0)3 336 32 99