The dad bod!!
A friend, who at the time had teenage kids when mine were little, once told me that just when you are feeling good about yourself, your child comes along and puts you in your place. I nodded and laughed and thought back to how I always made fun of my parents. Fast forward and I am no longer the dad who could do no wrong. Juliette is a teen and Lila a tween and I have been sadly relegated to embarrassing dad and the fodder for much of their teenage humor.
Combining my passion for cycling and watching my kids ride their horses, a friend and I took the opportunity of some great spring weather to bike 60 plus miles from New York City to see the girls show in the Old Salem Horse Show in North Salem, NY.
We started in Central Park and headed north through upper Manhattan and into The Bronx where we hopped on the rail trails at Van Cortland Park. The trails were beautifully paved, car free, with a few dirt sections to keep us challenged, arriving in North Salem in 3 hours and 45 minutes. I was feeling accomplished and healthy; that was until we found Juliette and Lila. Embarrassed to see their father walking among the horsey set in his cycling uniform (they refuse to call it a kit and yes, it's called a kit) - instead of being greeted with a hug or a kiss or even a "how was your ride?" they both said to me that I should probably cut down on the sweets and that I was starting to look a bit paunchy - ouch!
Not to be deterred, I gave them both sweaty hugs, which apparently falls under “things you shouldn’t do to your teenage daughters”, and said "you know the dad bod is considered very sexy now", which apparently falls under "things you shouldn't say to your teenage daughters".
Hours later, back home in the kitchen, I rewarded myself with Cannelés de Bordeaux, a decadently delicious pastry with a dark thick caramelized crust and a soft custard center that is fragrant with vanilla and rum. Originally from the Bordeaux region of France and baked in a special fluted copper mold.
Juliette and Lila rode beautifully, won great ribbons and there wasn’t a cannelé left in the house.
Cannelés de Bordeaux
- 2 cups plus 11/2 tbsp whole milk
- 1 cup plain flour (sifted)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1/4 cup rum
- 2 tbsp butter (melted)
- 1 1/2 oz. beeswax*
- 3 tablespoons butter
* Coating the inside of the molds with a beeswax butter mixture is very traditional but is not necessary. I often just use a light coating of butter.
- In a medium saucepan, combine seeds from vanilla bean and milk, mix well. Bring to a boil and remove from heat for 5 minutes. Do not throw away vanilla bean pod.
- Whisk in sugar and flour, strain batter through a sieve to remove any lumps.
- Add egg yolks, one at a time, gently mix and try not to get too much air in the batter.
- Add melted butter, stir.
- Finally, add the rum and whisk batter until smooth. If you still see some lumps then strain through sieve again.
- When batter has cooled down, add vanilla ban pod, cover and place in the refrigerator for 24 - 48 hours.
Beeswax for molds
- Heat oven to 475 F . Warm the cannelé molds in the oven while you melt the beeswax.
- Place the beeswax in a small pot and melt over low heat. Once melted remove from heat and add the butter. The heat from melting the beeswax should be enough to melt the butter. Stir to blend the wax and butter until fully melted and combined.
- Remove the warm molds from the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire rack on top of it.
- Coat each mold with the hot beeswax mixture by pouring into mold and then pouring out excess back into pan. Shaking to remove the excess, and place the mold upside-down over the wire rack for the excess to drip.
- There should be a very light and thin layer of wax coating. If too thick then reheat molds to melt wax. If wax mixture starts to harden then just reheat to melt again.
- Place the wax coated molds in the refrigerator to cool before filling with batter.
- Heat oven to 450 F.
- Fill Cannelé molds 2/3 full and place in preheated oven for 5 minutes.
- Lower heat to 350 F and bake for an additional 50 minutes.
- Let cool for a few minutes and then gently tap each mold for Cannelé to fall out. They should now be a beautiful mahogany color. Best served warm or within a few hours.