• Pauline Rotsaert

French pastries land on the surf coast: le canelé

« What are those? » is the question we hear the most about those curious brownish (not to say dark!) cakes in our vitrine at the market.

Caramelised and crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside would be the best way to describe them. Emblematic pastry from Bordeaux in the south-west of France, le Canelé is a one of a kind treat and we wanted to tell you all about it!

A slice of history.

With his hints of rum, vanilla and cane sugar, the origin of the canelé goes back to the 16th century. At that time, the nuns of the Annonciades convent in Bordeaux were making pastries from recovered flour, imported rum from the far-off islands and egg yolks not used in the process of “collage” of the wine. They distributed these cakes to the poor.

Two centuries later, the recipe falls in the hands of a curious and famous pastry chef, who decides to serve it to the bourgeoisie and make it become the symbol of the region!

From far but so close.

To create my Australian Canelés made in surf coast, I use copper moulds imported from Bordeaux, but this it is the only "ingredient" that is not locally sourced! Using local and organic products was indeed part of the requirements I gave myself when I started Gavé. Therefore, the milk I use is organic and comes from Schulz organic dairies in Timboon on the Great Ocean Road, the butter is from Ocean Grove, the delicious “Lard Ass Cultured Butter”. I use Bundaberg Rum from Queensland, just like vanilla and sugar.

To get this caramelized skin, the dough is put into warm moulds that I initially coated using natural beeswax. This later is collected by the lovely beekeepers from “Wondermazing Honeybees” in the Macedon ranges.

This complex (and quite long) process allows the outside part of the Canelé to be slightly brownish and crunchy, yum!

Traditional vs stuffed Canelés.

A traditional canelé is plain dough, spongy

and soft inside, and a slightly crispy crust. As I love to invent new recipes and pair some flavour, I spontaneously fill up my canelés according to what is available to me at the moment. When it’s mango season, I’ll a sweet and sour coulis and the list goes on according to the seasons! Fortunately, it is all year round the right season for a double pleasure with chocolate or caramel!

Where to get your next Canelé?

If this reading whets your appetite, you can come find us and the canelés (among many other pastries and cakes) every weekend at the local farmers' markets in Torquay and Melbourne!

Register to our newsletter and we’ll let you know on a monthly basis where we will be next.

Last but not least! Our online shop is open every day! We’ll be very happy to prepare your favourite treats and if you are in self-isolation, we are happy to discuss delivery around the surf coast or in Melbourne area over the weekend!


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