I recently decided to start studying a bit the Caneles market out there to get a chance to compare a bit my products with the competition.
I didn’t mean this as self serving adventure, I really do love Caneles and sampling what is out there is actually pretty exciting but it quickly turned into a spying game trying to see whose Caneles were the best.
Here is the first installment of my research.
I was in Paris in June and wanted to stop by Pierre Herme’s boutiques to try his macarons but also taste his Caneles. No Caneles were to be seen in any of his stores which leads me to think this is really not something he is focused on. The Macarons however, were divine but hey, no surprises there.
I then made my way to Baillardran, one of the kings of Caneles, coming directly from Bordeaux. The boxes were hip and cool but I can only share my disappointment when it comes to the pastries themselves.
The texture was alright at first but got extremely chewy in less than an hour. More frustrating, the flavor was really not that interesting and there was clearly little effort to perfect the baking and offer uniform Canles. There were even a bunch of “white asses”, What gives?
Don’t get me wrong, “white asses” happen to me as well, I just avoid selling them but maybe I am a perfectionist because when it comes down to it, they are as good as the others. They just don’t look as nice.
A few weeks later, I was in NYC and decided to check Balthazar out
They sell a bunch of nice looking Caneles (the big ones) so I had to taste them. There again, the fresh Caneles were soft, no crust whatsoever in spite of their perfect look. The taste and custard inside however was really good but what is a Caneles if you take away its crunch?
I feel like I am 0 for 2 at this point and will continue to taste but while trying to remain objective, I can safely say that I prefer Smack’s Caneles.
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