Canelés with spiked custard and spiced plums

These little French pastries with their distinctive burnished brown crispy exterior and pale custardy centre with a hint of rum are the pastry du jour. Traditionally they are baked in tin-lined copper moulds coated in a thin layer of butter mixed with beeswax, giving them their distinctive unusually dark exterior and a unique texture. If you don’t want to invest in the French moulds, canelés can be successfully baked in silicone or aluminium moulds sprayed with non-stick baking spray. Although this will not result in quite the same crust and may have a less than even colour (copper helps to evenly conduct the heat), they will still be delicious.









  • 550ml full fat milk
  • 50g butter
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and scrapped
  • 220g raw caster sugar
  • 125g plain flour
  • 3g salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 60ml dark spiced rum


Spiked custard

  • 600ml custard
  • 20ml dark spiced rum

Spiced plums

  • 40g butter
  • 12 plums, halved and pitted
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scrapped
  • 3 cardamom pods, split


Make the batter 48 hours before you plan to bake the canelés.

1. To make the batter

Add the milk, butter, split vanilla pods and scraped seeds to a saucepan, heat over medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and stir until the butter has melted, set aside to infuse until cooled to room temperature. 

Sift the sugar, flour and salt into a bowl. Using a rubber spatula, add the eggs and yolks, mixing gently until combined (the goal is not to aerate). Remove and discard the vanilla pods from the milk, then gradually incorporate the cooled vanilla-infused milk until you have a smooth batter. Finally, stir through the rum. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours (stir the batter with a fork a couple of times during its rest period).

2. To make the spiked custard

Stir the rum through the custard and refrigerate until needed.

3. For the spiced plums

These can be made up to 2 days in advance. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Rub a baking tray (large enough to hold the plum halves snugly) with butter and sit the plum halves cut side up in the baking tray. Sprinkle with brown sugar, tuck in the vanilla bean and spread over the scraped seeds, scatter over the cardamom pods. Roast for about 20 minutes until the plums have softened and released some of their ruby juices. Cool and refrigerate until needed.

4. To cook the canelés

Pre-heat your oven to 240°C. Remove the batter from the fridge, stir gently. Spray the canelé tins with non-stick baking spray, set the tins onto a baking tray and fill the moulds with the rested batter to 1cm from the top. The gap is important, allowing the canelés to puff up before collapsing back in on themselves without spilling over. Immediately transfer to the oven, bake for 12 minutes, reduce the heat to 190°C (without opening the oven door) and continue to bake for a further 50-60 minutes, or until they are a deep mahogany brown. Remove from the oven, sit for a few minutes then while still hot, carefully unmould the canelés (they should release easily but if you encounter resistance, you can give the tin a tap). Unmoulding them while hot might seem counter intuitive, however the heat drives out the steam helping to create the crispy exterior. Let cool for 30 minutes to one hour before serving, these are best eaten within several hours of being baked. Serve with spiked custard and spiced plums.

As seen in Winter 2022

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