Canelés are a specialty of the Bordeaux region of France. These small pastries are made from eggs, milk, flour, butter, sugar and rum in special molds that make them look like a tall mini bundt cake (but they don’t have a hole in the middle). I first came across them almost two decades ago when I started researching Bordelaise cuisine. For years, I considered making them until finally giving up on the idea – buying a mold for something I’d only make once seemed too wasteful. Still, my curiosity about them stayed.
Then a week ago, I found that Costco was selling these “Made in France” canelés. They were quite expensive, almost $10 for a package of 16 (each weighing a bit over 1 oz), but I had to see what they were like. Unfortunately, they weren’t very good.
The pastries are pretty dense, though I liked their airy, somewhat chewy consistency. They didn’t have much flavor, however. The rum masked whatever else was there, without really adding that much. And while I enjoyed the consistency, they were a bit too dry. All in all, I wouldn’t get them again. Now, if I ever find myself in Bordeaux, I might give a bakery-baked one a try.