The Great American Canelé
Ever since I first tasted one at the Dijon Foire Gastronomique in 2005 I've been a fan of the canelé (also spelled with a double n), a classic Bordelais pastry. It looks like a tiny bundt cake, but it's a thing altogether different. A canelé has a crunchy, caramelized outer crust and a fluffy interior that's sort of a cross between a cake and a custard. At the top it has somewhat the consistency of a French cruller, and further down it morphs into a moist custard. The play of textures makes for a wonderfully sensual experience. The classic version is flavored with rum and vanilla. My favorite rendition in New York can be found at the Petrossian Cafe, but without a doubt the best I've had in the U.S. are available at the La Boulange bakery and cafe chain in the Bay Area, where the photo above was shot.