Parmesan, basil & toasted pine nut cannelés

A savoury variation on my lemongrass and ginger cannelés,  these are essentially pesto cannelés (or canelés!), and are fantastic as light canapés when served warm. They have a thin exterior crust with a soft interior, bursting with flavour.

Even though the Parmesan is a salty cheese, I use a little salt to crush the garlic, but you don’t get a salty taste in the baked cannelés.

As with sweet cannelés, the batter does need between 24 and 48 hours to rest in the fridge: the longer resting gives lighter textured cannelés.

Parmesan, basil & toasted pine nut cannelés: makes about 48 mini cannelés

  • 500g full-fat milk
  • 50g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for the moulds
  • 150g strong plain flour
  • 5 large cloves garlic, crushed with 2g coarse sea salt
  • 60g toasted pine nuts
  • 150g Parmesan, finely grated
  • handful fresh basil, very finely chopped: to add to the rested batter
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks

(1) Blitz everything apart from basil and the Parmesan and rest for 2 days in the fridge: it will become quite thick.

(2) Brush the moulds with a little melted butter and freeze for about 30 minutes: this gives a better overall finish. Add the basil and the Parmesan to the mixture and stir in gently and preheat the oven to 200C(fan).

(3) Pour the mixture into the moulds, coming to about 5mm below the rims. Bake for 5 minutes before turning temperature down to 190C(fan) and cooking for a further 20-25 minutes or until the tops are a deep golden brown. They will rise up above the moulds a little before firming up and settling down a bit. You can instead fill them about half full for shorter bites!

(4) Leave for a few minutes in the moulds before turning out to cool on wire racks.

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