Monday, May 20, 2013

Researche du Canelés

Falling in love with a little custardie cake, le Canelé, can be quite deleterious to your health.
I'd resisted the flirtatious wiles of the canelé for a long time, but at the Perigord Foire the old coup de foudre/flash of lightening hit and it hard.
Handmade by Lucette of Hautefort in Perigord using walnuts picked from her own grove (usually only vanilla and rum are the only addends to the egg and milk mixture), these rustic babies were irresistible. I even went back to the well for a third helping(!) and decided I must do some caparitive analysis with Parisian canelés.
Research began Sunday morning right after a dunk in the pool at nearby boulangerie, Le Moulin de la Vierge.
Le Moulin is one of the prettiest of Paris' boulangeries but see the yellow tops on these canelés?
That's a no-no according to Paula Wolfert and top pastry chefs of Bordeaux. These little cakes originated over 300 years ago either by nuns (nuns get a lot of credit for creating cakes in France by the way) or else by poor Bordelaises down by the waterfront with bits of leftover flour and egg yolk etc.
Next stop Maison Lemoine originating in Bordeaux with branches in St.-Emilion, Sarlat, Cap-Ferret.
Even Lemoine's logo is a canele cake
They sell the preferred copper molds or moules to make these puppies or you can find silicone molds in any Paris pastry supply shop.
Lemoine makes a soft/moille canele and a crispy or croustillant version with a more crunchy caramelized outer shell. Both had a cakey aroma or nez. The crispy version can be quite chewy.
Just across the street on rue St. Dominique patisserie Jean Millet is a  member of Relais Desserts so anything they do is generally delish.
Note the spelling here all you ex-French teachers!
Only authentic cakes from Bordeaux are allowed to use the single N in the spelling. It's the law according to 88 pastry chefs of Bordeaux who hold dear the secret recipe to this little cake.
Only about 1 1/2" high but there's a lot of protection for this recently back-in-fashion pastry - just the past 20 years or so.
The biggest Bordeaux brand of canele is Baillardran. They have a shop in gare Montparnasse.
They offer 3 levels of quality. I got the 'traditional', their top canele with visible flecks of vanilla, a rummy aroma and a little red paper crown for 2.30 euros.
Still after tasting as many of Paris' best example to be found on a rainy Sunday afternoon none comes close to the artisanally made canele by Lucette from La Noix Patiente/ the patient nut of the Perigord fair at Montmartre. I should have known and not gone off on a tasting tangent that has left me with a tummy ache. These little cakes are meant to be eaten just one at a time. And multiple taste-testing by one person is not such a hot idea. I guess I'll have to visit Perigord if I want another ONE!

30 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:01 AM

    Love the canelés in Bordeaux.
    Nice way to start the morning, trempé dans le café.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "trempé dans le café"
      Ah ha!
      So one should dunk the Canelé into one's cafe
      Hmmm...tres interesante

      Delete
  2. Mazing the power of a single "l"! when commenting on your post yesterday, I kept typing "canelle" which was the only way I'd seen it spelled. Clearly, I've never come close to the real thing!
    PS The Millet has a very un-appealing looking lump of dough at the bottom - is it not fully cooked?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that lump is my drawing you're referring too?

      Delete
  3. 6 molds for 36? That is a great price no?
    I have good quality silicone but they do not crisp enough.Perhaps that's fine..I don't make them enough..or maybe that's why I don't:) You have inspired me to try again.
    Hope your aquarelle is in the forthcoming book:)The baby moules are too cute too.
    What fun you have!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And what a tummy ache I have to show for so much fun. These little cakes are so small you hardly notice you're packing them away ...

      Delete
  4. I have never tried the canelle when is Paris. I find it hard to chose them when they are sitting next to an eclair or a raspberry tart.

    I hope you tummy is feeling better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know exactly what you mean
      That's why they stood out at the Perigord fair.
      No fluffy competition to take their shine away...

      Delete
  5. A few years ago we were walking up the hill from the Moulin Rouge - I was looking for bread for our lunch and followed the advice "look for a shop with a line out the door" - I did that and got an excellent small loaf but they also had samples of this little pastry - didn't look like much but I tasted - WOW! I think it is a French secret indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Patricia10:22 AM

    We appreciate your dedication to research the perfect canele. After all, how do you know you've found perfection unless you've tried them all? Maybe you can research chocolate some more...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What kind of chocolate Patricia?
      There are so many here...

      Delete
  7. Canelés must be the rich relatives of popovers! ;-)

    The Canelé forms are €36 e a c h, aren't they? Otherwise I would beg you to get the six-pack for me, and I wire you the money immediately!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. P.S.: I LOVE the small sketch in the bottom picture's lower right, each Canelé looks just perfect.

      Delete
    2. No no 36€ for SIX moules
      Just come here!

      Delete
  8. Good idea to hit the pool first. I haven't tried a canelé when in Paris, but now I will when I come in October! x Katie

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree. The cannele we enjoyed at the Perigord fair was too good to be believed. I can't get it out of my mind, and now the fair is closed. Which is the second best---in your opinion. By the way, I've done my own research and Secco wasn't good. I was going to get some at Kayser today, but they didn't have them. Maybe Wednesday....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing comes close to home made IMHO
      Forget the others

      Delete
  10. I've never tried one. I'll have to next month! Thanks for your research. I know the best places to go!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I always understood caneles were created in Bordeaux because the winemakers used egg whites to "fine" their wines, leaving the yolks. Ingenious and delicious. Enjoyed your report.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 300 yrs is a long time...Another good theory jmt

      Delete
  12. They look great, and you sure give them a rousing endorsement!
    I think that I could learn to like these.......

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for the research and taking one for the team. I was so sure you were going to say Lemoine's was going to be your choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't top homemade!

      Delete
    2. Even if the Patient Nut has a shop... ;))

      Delete
  14. Love your post! I love Canelés very much and tried make them time to time. Would love to go to the places you mentioned here :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. OMG I AM ADDICTED TO CANELES!!! It's so funny you just posted about this. I am literally sitting here with three freshly baked canelés for my post-dinner luxury. :)

    Hope all is well with you!

    Milsters

    (http://www.littlepiecesoflight.com/)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh goody, I have never dared try one of these (I like to stick to my favorites) but I'm going to Bordeaux in a couple of weeks so will try one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do try more than one Canelé so you'll have a frame of reference
      And smaller pastry shops rather than the industrial brands IMHO will be better.
      I love that French kids book that tells you what to eat in every region...
      Atlas de la France Gourmande
      Par Hervé Pinel

      Delete
  17. You always have so much to teach us Carol. The importance of a mere N. I think I had one cannele in Paris last time, but I wasn't bowled over, I'm sure it was a cannele, not a canele.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Aluminum Cannele mold would get the same perfect cannele as using copper one ? if i follow the same baking preparation and recipe ..

    ReplyDelete

Love hearing from you