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Canelés de Bordeaux by Mimi Mendoza

Canelés de Bordeaux by Mimi Mendoza

At restaurant Senia in Honolulu, Hawaii pastry chef Mimi Mendoza shines a spotlight on Hawaii’s natural flavours and those of her heritage.

Here, she shares her recipe for a small 'unassuming' pastry, which always brings back early memories of being a young pastry cook in a French bistro, excerpted from the cookbook Why We Cook by Lindsay Gardner.

30 April, 2021
Average: 4 (4 votes)

serves for



All purpose flour
10 ounces
Icing sugar
1 pound plus 9 ounces confectioners’ sugar
Fleur de sel
2 teaspoons
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
Whole milk
1½ quarts
5 ounces browned butter, strained
6 ounces Myers’s rum
2 Tahitian vanilla beans
Tonka beans
½ tonka bean (very powerful flavor)
8 ounces clarified butter
8 ounces pure beeswax

Note: Plan to make the batter at least 24 hours and preferably 48 hours in advance. The batter works best when it is allowed to sit overnight and mature.


Excerpted from Why We Cook: Women on Food, Identity, and Connection by Lindsay Gardner. Copyright © 2021 by Lindsay Gardner. Art by Lindsay Gardner. Recipe © 2021 by Mimi Mendoza. Used by permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc., New York. All rights reserved.

Why We Cook_Book Cover

Step 01

Sift the flour and confectioners’ sugar together in a large bowl, then add the fleur de sel. In a separate bowl, whisk the whole eggs and the egg yolk together.

Step 02

Place the milk, browned butter, rum, vanilla beans, and tonka bean in a small pot and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and ladle the liquid slowly into the egg mixture until homogenous. Using a whisk, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Whisk just to incorporate—do not add air to the mixture! Allow the cooled mixture to sit in an airtight container in the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours before baking.

Step 03

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F. Combine the clarified butter and beeswax in a small pot and heat over high until the mixture is completely melted. The mixture is extremely hot—proceed with caution. Line 12 copper canelé molds (2½ inches in diameter) with the butter mixture. Fill each mold with batter to ¼ inch from the rim. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the edges are evenly and deeply browned and butter is no longer pooled in the center.

Step 04

Place a cooling rack on top of a foil-lined baking sheet. Remove the canelés from the molds and place them on the rack to allow excess butter and beeswax to drip off. (The canelés will be soft when they first come out of the oven, but once they have cooled, the outer crusts will be crisp and hard.) Serve at room temperature within 8 hours of baking, to ensure that the exterior crusts are enjoyed when crispy and crunchy.

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