a canelé is a small french pastry flavoured with rum and vanilla with a soft tender custard centre and a dark thick caramelized crust. it takes the shape of a small cylinder up to five cm in height with a depression at the top. a speciality of the bordeaux region of france.
it is traditionally baked in a small cylindrical fluted mould. traditionally the moulds were brushed with beeswax, but today butter is used. produced in numerous sizes they can be eaten for breakfast, snacks and as a dessert. they can be covered in chocolate and different flavours added.
the canelé is believed to originate from the couvent des annonciades, bordeaux in either the 15th or 18th century. the modern word "canelé" originates in gascon, which was spoken in bordeaux and a large area of southwestern france until the 19th century. the canolé as it was then called, disappeared from production back in 1663. it reappeared in the first quarter of the 20th century when an unknown pastry chef re-popularised the antique recipe of canauliers. he added rum and vanilla to his dough. it is likely that its current shape comes from the similarity (in french) of the word wave with the word "cannelure" (fluting, corrugation, striations).
the modern name "canelé" is of recent origin. only in 1985 after its popularity began to explode, was the brotherhood of the canelé of bordeaux (confrérie du canelé de bordeaux) created. the name canelé became a brand. ten years after the registration of this brand there were at least 800 manufacturers in aquitane and 600 in gironde. in 1992, gironde alone consumed an estimated 4.5 million canelés.