"It's a little bundt-shaped, tiny pastry," said Jonathan Ory, owner of Bad Wolf Coffee. "Caramelized on the outside, crunchy exterior, and then the inside is more of a custardy rum and vanilla flavor."
Ory spent three years figuring them out. He begins by slicing open high-quality vanilla beans, scraping them into a pot with very good butter and heating them up together. He then sifts flour and powdered sugar together through a fine mesh screen, and once the liquid is at the right temperature, adds it to the flour-sugar mixture. Then he adds the egg yolks and high-quality rum.
"Quality of the dairy is really important," Ory said. "And I'm really picky about my rum; I use Barbancourt from Haiti, it's got this great, malted sugar cane quality that I just love."
Once combined, the contents go through another strainer and the batter rests for two days in a refrigerator. At that point, Ory brushes his molds with melted butter, chills them, pours ladles in his rested batter and bakes them off.
The result? A crispy exterior with a slight crunch yielding to a vanilla and rum-flecked interior, as moist as a croissant.
"It's a great pastry," Ory said. "When I think about it I focus mainly on how long it took me to figure 'em out, and all the work I put into making it into how I wanted it to be."
And Bad Wolf is not your typical coffee shop. No Wifi, no chairs and tables to sit and do laptop work all day long; just one table here in the middle of the room. This is so that customers can focus on the coffee and pastries, and hopefully by the time you get here, he won't have sold out of the canele.
Once Ory runs out of them, he's out until the next day, so it's best to call ahead to make sure they have them available. You can also find caneles at Floriole Bakery in Lincoln Park as well as Cellar Door Provisions in Logan Square.
Bad Wolf Coffee
3422 N. Lincoln Ave.
1220 W Webster Ave.
Cellar Door Provisions
3025 W. Diversey