Hello, my name is Alex Tung and I’m a big fan of Canelés de Bordeaux. I would imagine that most of you, probably have never heard of these little bundles of joy before. I was first introduced to them via a stunning French ex-girlfriend “way back in the day” and the last canelé I ate was10 years ago at Payard Patisserie in NYC. A canelé is a small French pastry with a soft and tender custard-y center with a dark, thick, slightly crunchy, caramelized crust. The pastry is in the shape of small, striated cylinder, approximately two inches in height and is a specialty of the Bordeaux region of France. Canelés de Bordeaux are made from egg, sugar, milk and flour and are usually flavored with rum and vanilla. The custard batter is baked in a special mold, giving the canelé an unique shape, caramelized crust and pillow-y inside.
To be honest, I haven’t seen or heard anything about Canelés de Bordeaux for many years. Sometime in 2011, I caught some tweets from @frmadebaking; if I’m not mistaken, they were baking and selling them at the Steveston Farmer’s Market. I think that’s right, but I can’t really remember; apparently my memory is getting worse, as I age ungracefully. Ever since then, the thought of Canelés de Bordeaux have been lingering in the back of my brain. Last week, I caught a couple more tweets about French Made Baking [81 Kingsway, Vancouver, (604) 558-4880] celebrating a grand opening at their “brick and mortar” location, so I put aside a “unit of time” to go visit the shop, on what was an exceptionally busy morning of meetings.
So after a very productive meeting and shaking hands on opening and operating a new restaurant, I swung by French Made Baking, parked illegally and popped in the shop en route to my next meeting. I was looking forward to meeting the owners, but unfortunately they were not in. I ordered a box of Canelés de Bordeaux, hustled back to the hybrid and ripped that box open like a 5 year old kid on Christmas morning. “Sweet mother of mercy.” Yowza! The canelés was unbelievably good; memories of yesteryear came flooding back to me and they tasted just as good as I remembered. Crispy and caramelized on the outside, buttery, egg-y and tender on the inside. Delicious. I can’t believe I had the will power to only eat one!
Later that evening, “Monk,” “Jazzy” and I devoured the rest of them as an after dinner treat. The wife had never had canelés before and enjoyed them; she doesn’t get overly excited about pastries and sweets like I do, but she enjoyed them all the same. Her “somewhat insightful” comment was that they seemed like a hybrid between a Yorkshire pudding and a Tim Horton’s honey crueller?!?! She also found the outside to be overly caramelized for her taste, but to each his/her own right? My 2.5 year old daughter on the other hand, just kept saying “yummy, yummy, yummy” and kept on munching away. That kid is definitely a chip off the old block. My only issue and concern was that I wish I had another box. Do yourself a favour, swing by French Made Baking and give the Canelés de Bordeaux a try.
Until my next Yowza! moment, peace be unto you.