Thursday, May 19, 2011

Things I'm Addicted To: Cannelé

Lately I've been obsessed with the cannelé, a French pastry that's unlike any dessert I've ever eaten. Pastry is not usually the subject of my obsessions, which is why this harmless looking thing is so dangerous.

There are about 50 different spellings for cannelé, but it's all the same-- a batter of egg, milk, vanilla and rum among other things is cooked in a small copper mold. The resulting caramelized exterior reminds me of a burnt marshmallow or a crème brûlée crust, but with a better, chewy texture. Meanwhile, their shape is oddly sexual.

Money shot. 

Inside, the crème brûlée comparison holds, with the guts having a custardy texture and a hint of vanilla, but with a slight chew. I have to say I didn't really detect the rum. But damn these are addictive.

Stop in at Balthazar Bakery to get yours (or order the pastry basket during brunch at Minetta Tavern). They're only $2 apiece. While I've also found them at Van Leeuween, they're best avoided. If you're so inclined to make them yourself, check out this recipe and read this epic eGullet thread.

Balthazar Bakery
80 Spring Street (at Crosby)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 965-1785


  1. Yum, there's nothing like a fresh cannele! I think canneles win the award for trendiest pastry of the year, since I see them popping up everywhere now.

  2. I was reading a bunch of threads on them last night. It seems like they were really trendy a couple years ago. Where else have you seen them lately? I need comparisons!

  3. I just read a bunch about cannelles today while actually trying to remember how to spell quennelle. WANT.