Of all French pastries, the understated canele has remained defiantly traditional. Unlike a variety of flavours offered in macarons, the Bordeaux specialty often sticks with conventional flavourings of vanilla and rum and occasionally, with chocolate.
At Le Canele d’Or, caneles are baked the traditional way and take on modern flavours. The cafe, located at The Concourse along Beach Road, is its first overseas venture for the Hong Kong-based brand. A two-inch canele at the cafe goes for S$5.50 a pop, attributing to notoriously fussy baking conditions.
It starts with copper molds (above), lined with tin, that kick-starts the Maillard reaction which gives the canele its signature crispy dark-brown crust. Handmade in Bordeaux, one canele mold can cost up to S$20. A precise baking time is also required to ensure the pastry doesn’t sink in or dry up. Each canele has to ‘pop out’ perfectly from each mold, a skill that takes time to master as well.
All these coupled together has made the canele a relatively rare sight in French bakeries. Florence Lamarlere, owner of Le Canele d’Or, took at least six months going through numerous trial and errors before launching her Hong Kong branch.
As a way to modernise the pastry, Le Canele d’Or offers a variety of flavours such as orange, matcha and raspberry. The bakery also pays homage to Singapore with a local creation: the Ondeh Ondeh canele – inspired by Lamarlere’s love for pandan cake. Using freshly-squeezed pandan juice, the moist sponge under the canele’s crust takes on a green colour and is crowned with a delicate piece of meringue made with gula Melaka.
Since its Singapore launch in October 2016, Le Canele d’Or has been the go-to source for freshly-baked caneles for several high-end hotels. VIPs at the up-coming Formula 1 will also get an opportunity to try these pastries while watching races.
The caneles are available in three sizes (cocktail, medium and large) at the cafe and are also available for online order. Perfect with coffee, tea or a glass of Sauternes.
Le Canele d’Or Singapore, 302 Beach Rd