Canele By Celine has been selling their delicious mini-canele and financiers at various New York markets for years. Now, they've opened a brick and mortar shop on the Upper East Side in the old Martine's Chocolate space. Though quite common in France, this is the first canele-only bakery in NYC. They're also the only bakery in the city that offers different flavors of canele, including savory options.
Canele are an eggy French pastry baked in special molds. They come with a caramelized, nearly burnt exterior and a soft, custardy interior traditionally with vanilla and rum. Canele By Celine offers 12 different flavors of sweet mini-canele, and they're all quite good. The entire line uses the same base recipe and meet good canele standards, including a fragrant aroma.
I personally prefer the dark chocolate, lemon, and gingerbread flavors, which are all nice change ups from the usual rum. The lemon balances the pastry's sweetness and the gingerbread adds a cake-like element that I enjoyed.
The savory canele is where things get really interesting. The Parmesan is my overall favorite of this group. It doesn't have a crust that snaps like a sweet canele, but the inside is moist and packs a sharp, cheesy flavor, like biting into a really good cheese stick. The Basil Pesto flavor with its dark green color is an intense expression of basil. Unlike the other savory canele, the Chorizo has a more fully baked interior and a very crisp, almost charred crust.
All this innovation comes at a premium, but I think the prices compare favorably to other fancy pastries. Canele pricing is as follows: Small sweet canele are 3 for $4.90, 6 for $9.80, 9 for 14.50, and 18 for 28.50; small savory canele are 3 for $5.90, 9 for $17.50, and 18 for $34.50. Large canele are $3.50.
About the author: Native New Yorker Niko Triantafillou is the founder of DessertBuzz.com his photographs of desserts and pastry chefs have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Dessert Professional Magazine. He is an unabashed foodie nerdling. Follow him on Twitter at @DessertBuzz.