Caneles, a little known French delight from Yvonne and Guite

Holidays in France are pretty much synonymous with good food and our trip to Bordeaux over 2 years ago now was no different, endless volumes of warm flaky bread, croissants and pastries, gooey smelly cheese, wine direct from the wineries of St Emilion and something new to me – Caneles.

Caneles were these small little rum and vanilla flavoured fluted cakes that were sold at almost every street corner, with the quality of the end result changing as per the quality of the establishment – they felt like the Bordelais version of a Macaron, the good ones were much lauded and sought after, the not so good ones not worth the paper bag they came in!

But while Macarons are available throughout London and the world, Caneles had yet to take the world by storm – until Yvonne & Guite got in touch and asked if I’d be keen to sample some for a review.  Memories of Bordeaux came flooding back, so of course I said yes!

Owner and founder Caroline came to the Caneles route via a career in asset management in Paris and then London and on a search for some caneles for a dinner party was convinced that she could create a recipe and a business that could give this humble dessert a spot on the map alongside macarons and even cupcakes, she set the wheels in motion.

So what do caneles taste like exactly? Well I’d say they are sort of like a softer version of a cake, glazed and caramelised crust with a softer custard-flavoured centre.  It’s richer than a sponge cake and has a distinct vanilla flavour and best of all, isn’t too sweet.  I am an awfully picky dessert eater (You’d never know this looking at my Instagram feed) and usually I don’t eat custard, vanilla or caramel flavoured things, but this wasn’t too overpoweringly like any of these flavours and it still passed the inher30s test.

We had some slightly warmed up for dessert last night and the husband was hoping for some creamy vanilla ice cream to go with it but I personally think they’d also work for breakfast or afternoon tea as they’re not too sweet – in fact I’m going to go wild and suggest their inclusion on a cheeseboard!
I actually had some for breakfast, they go great with a cappuccino! Canele purists are probably spinning in their graves by now, but I think they’re pretty versatile and I’m pretty happy! So next time you fancy a taste of French patisserie, try out something new, perhaps a Bordelais speciality in the form of Caneles!
Disclosure: The lovely folk at Yvonne and Guite sent me my pretty box of caneles which are almost gone already (oops!) Their distributor, Bonativo.co.uk have a deal on at the moment where they are offering £5 off orders if you use the code ‘YVONNE5’.  As always, opinions are my own!
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3 thoughts on “Caneles, a little known French delight from Yvonne and Guite

  1. Caneles are a bit of a favourite of mine- I think it’s the textures that really sell it for me… that sticky, caramelised crust, contrasted against that soft centre… mmm!

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