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.