Canelés, which are native to Bordeaux, have not caught on with the same fervor in New York as the macaron or madeleine. All that is about to change due to Canelé by Céline on the Upper East Side. Céline, a former attorney, opened up her canelé business in 2009 after she received positive encouragement from esteemed NYC chef Jean Georges Vongerichten. Her online store flourished, so in 2013 she opened up a charming boutique and fully integrated kitchen baking all pastries on site.
Traditionally, canelés come flavored vanilla, rum, or both. Here at Canelé by Céline, she offers an array of flavours from sweet to savoury. A few months ago, I had the pleasure of being introduced to the mini treats at the In French with English Subtitles Film Festival. Initially being a purist, I devoured the vanilla. Slowly persuaded to try the other flavour, I was instantly hooked starting with pistachio. These treats were divine, crunchy on the outside, with a custardy centre. Now on Saturdays, I’m making a weekly pilgrimage to the pastry store on my way to the NYC greenmarket next door. Chocolate, caramel, rum, vanilla, lemon, pistachio and orange are always available. Every month, they offer a seasonal flavor; for April, it’s Lemon Poppy Seeds— can’t wait to try them this Saturday!
After a dreary and long NYC winter, I’m dreaming of summer to entertain friends, enjoy a glass of champagne and some savoury canelés. I’ve been especially fond of the Parmesan Cheese and think it will match well. Note that the savoury offerings are only available on Friday and Saturdays. Now what pairs well with rosé? Perhaps truffle or something sweet like rose water?
The packaging is equally as sophisticated, with a choice of a basic or metal box, or a mini-glass bell jar. These make equally special hostess gifts. Only if you are able to restrain yourself and share! Remember you can purchase online, too.
Canelé By Céline, 400 East 82nd Street (between 1st Ave and York)
Valerie O’Halloran is the France Today Ambassador for New York