The first (and last) time I tasted a canelé de Bordeaux was while visiting Saint-Émilion
in September 2007. When we arrived in the village a parade and celebration
were in progress, much to our surprise. We watched the townspeople file by on their way to the central church where they would pray for the red-grape harvest which was set to begin any day.
After watching the parade we still had some time before our lunch reservations at L’envers du Decor
so we wandered the city checking out wine shops and caves; shops and bakeries; and the surrounding scenery of rolling hills. My friend MB could not stop talking about canelé de Bordeaux and pulled me into a bakery right next to our lunchtime restaurant where there were stacks of the canelé. While we were there I tried one and then bought a couple boxes.
Canelé de Bordeaux are crispy, almost burnt on the outside. The outside is sugar caramelized until crispy-sweet. In contrast the inside is a soft and silky rum laced custard. They remind me of a super-luscious French toast. And rich – whoa!
Seattle now has a source for these French treats and it’s not in a place you’d ever expect. Honoré Bakery is located just east of 15th Ave northwest in the area that is north of Ballard, south of Crown Hill. Technically its Loyal Heights. There’s a little one to two block stretch with a few shops and the bakery is right in the middle. The place is teeny. The bakery itself seems to take up most of the space. But there is a small glass-encased counter filled with delicacies, a few tables and a little bit of window counter seating.
When I arrived at noon on Saturday there were only three canelé remaining – the man in front of me has secured what would have been the fourth. I took them all and a couple of Parisian-style macarons. I wanted to try them right there but needed to get home and take photos first!
The canelé were as rich and lovely as I remembered, although a tad bit undercooked, which is one of the challenges of canelé. But, that just meant that I wouldn’t have to worry about reheating them, which I did with one this morning.
As mentioned, I also tried a couple of their macarons. The lavender filled with chocolate ganache is a beautiful combination of the two flavors, and the chocolate version was both light and rich. Very nice.
Honoré Artisan Bakery
1413 NW 70th St