Is the canele making another run at blowing up? Last week, New York City got its first canele-only bakery but quietly, for about a month, Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery has been selling mini versions of the sweet treats at their Time Warner Center location.
If you've never tried a canele, it's a small French pastry made with sugar, flour, vanilla, rum, and eggs that has a sweet, caramelized crust and a moist custard-like interior. To date, there are still only about ten bakeries in New York that sell them, including Dominique Ansel, Balthazar, and Boise Tea Parlor.
Bouchon sells their Mini-Canele for $3 each—the same price Dominique Ansel and Bosie currently offer their large Canele. And as with those versions, Bouchon uses the significantly more labor-intensive copper molds for baking, that some believe results in a more caramelized crust, although this last point is controversial.
How do they taste? They're beautiful. The crust has a delightfully crunchy exterior and the custard-like center isn't too sweet. Despite its small size, this canele packs a flavor and aroma punch—I could smell the vanilla right after slicing the canele in half for these photos. Stay tuned.