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patisseries in Bay Area (SF and East Bay) that sell caneles

  • t

As a challenge to myself, I just splurged and bought the 2.2-inch diameter copper molds to make caneles. I need help finding places that make and sell them so I can do a taste test to see what they are supposed to look, feel, and taste like. Thanks in advance.

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  1. La Boulange (at least the one on Hayes) has them. Like most of their pastries, their Cannelés de Bordeaux look better than they taste.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dordogne

      Agreed. La Boulange used to have great canneles like 10 years ago. About the same time they opened up their 3rd or 4th location they started going downhill and I stopped buying them. I suggest buying one just so you know what you don't want them to taste like.

      1. re: dordogne

        All locations carry them, but they'll be freshest at the Pine location, or nearby Fillmore if they're out.

        They don't really get credit for helping to popularize these in the US, but they should. I agree they're not as good as they used to be.

      2. Le Dix-Sept at the Noe Valley Farmers' Market on Saturday has credible ones. I've heard that Boulette's Larder has them at the Ferry Plaza on Saturdays, but I've never personally confirmed this.

        1. When all else fails I used to go to Trader Joes but now I am hooked on their kouign amann so I am not sure they have caneles any more.

          1. Boulette's Larder that is now called Bouli or something has them first thing on Saturday morning and they are very good.

            1. Fournee across from the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley.
              But call first to confirm they have 'em that day.

              6 Replies
              1. re: escargot3

                Second Fournée. They have the best ones I've tasted, better than Boulette's Larder and La Boulange,

                1. re: daveena

                  Tried a canele at Fournée last Friday. I liked the interior texture, custardy enough but not feeling underdone. The exterior was not quite as crusty as Boulette's Larder. But it was much more uniformly brown than Boulange. I didn't feel it had the rummy nuance that BL's does, so I'd place it second to BL overall. But a very good effort and I'd certainly buy one again.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I had the opposite experience! I think the BL one I had was undercooked, almost gummy, while Fournée's was super caramelized and crunchy on the outside.

                    1. re: daveena

                      Ha! I suspect that time of day may have an effect. I had the one at Fournee late afternoon, probably some time after it had been baked. The ones I've had from Boulette's have been in the morning when i'm at the farmers market before they've had a chance to soften.

                      ETA: And I'm happy to hear that Fournee's can be even better than my one sample.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        Actually, now that I think about it, I bought the canele in the afternoon, but I didn't eat it until after dinner. So, it wasn't the freshest by a long shot.

                2. Good luck! Based on my observations of friends who were trying to make canelés it appears to be a fiendishly difficult task, requiring many failed efforts to gain the experience necessary to do it right. It can easily become an obsession. If I hadn't tasted the sublime pleasure of a great canelé I would never understand how someone could devote so much effort to make a pastry.

                  In case you haven't already seen it, here's a thread on Home Cooking detailing the ins and outs (and the agony and ecstasy) of making canelés—


                  1. It's been a while since I've had one, but I can recommend the canele at Mission Beach Cafe in SF. Hope it still makes 'em.

                    1. Oh yeah, the CANELE at LA BOULANGE in Pac Heights used to be quite good, but I too think they went down hill (and seemed to be less good at the other branches) so I stopped buying them.

                      That fellow at LA BEDAINE said he had the molds and suggested he might start making them ... but in the >1yr since that conversation (just after they opened), I have never seen them there ... he seems like someone who could deliver on the "fiendish" challenge ... has anybody seem them on SOLANO?

                      The last place I had a pretty good one was DOMINIQUE ANSEL which was a bit larger than LA BOULANGE and a little diff in texture but also quite good ... I would add this to the list of stuff worth trying at D.A.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: psb

                        "but in the >1yr since that conversation (just after they opened),"
                        La Bedaine open
                        Nov, 2009
                        Time passes so fast when you are having fun.

                        1. re: dordogne

                          I have been following the long Chow board discussion on making caneles. After macarons, croissants, I figured I need another French pastry to obsess over. I have the Laduree recipe on canele. Will experiment and report back.