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Friday, January 6, 2012

Canelés—the Other Divine Treat from Bordeaux

I’m a lover of Bordeaux wine, but I don’t dream about it.  I do, however, dream of canelés, magical little pastries which are a specialty of the Bordeaux region.   These culinary treasures, thought to have been created in the 16th century, disappeared in the 19th century, however, they’ve recently gained cachet.  From as far away as Paris, la crème de la crème patisseries are now welcoming back these once forgotten tiny cakes. 

The fluted exterior of a canelé is a glossy, dark-brown-almost-black shell of crunchy, carmelized sugar.  Inside these small delectables have a soft, custard-like interior of rum and vanilla.   Only 2 inches tall, they can be consumed in a few bites.  I love mine for breakfast with a great cup of coffee, although canelés are often consumed for a snack as well as a dessert. 

Every pastry shop in Bordeaux features canelés, but my favorite spot to buy them is at Baillardran (they have several branches but the one in the heart of the downtown is located at 55, cours de l'Intendance.)  If you’re coming with us on the harvest tour to Bordeaux this September, they’ll be on our menu the first night at Chateau Beychevelle. 

Bon appetit...and Bon 2012!

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