6 Best Bakeries For Canelés In Hong Kong
You won't have to travel all the way to Bordeaux to enjoy this crispy, chewy treat
Is it spelt “canelé” or “cannelé” ? This question alone sparks major debates in Bordeaux, the city where this famous little gâteau made its debut.
During the 17th century, a time of booming colonial trade, Bordeaux became the busiest port of France. Ships from the French West Indies would flood into the port, filled with coveted spices, coffee, cocoa, vanilla, rum and sugar.
Legend has it that the nuns of a local convent would salvage leftover flour, rum, vanilla and sugar from open gunny sacks and leftover wooden crates found lying around the port. Egg yolks were taken from wine cellars where egg whites were used to clarify wine. These leftover ingredients would then be made into little rum-spiked cakes that were handed out to the poor and the homeless by the nuns themselves.
Today, however, things are a little different. canelés are found all over the world, made with the finest ingredients. With that, we've rounded up six bakeries that serve these delicious treats for you to enjoy with a cup of your afternoon tea.
See also: 10 Best Places For Tiramisu In Hong Kong
Rise by Classified
At the newly-opened Rise by Classified, Bordeaux native and head baker Julien Renaud has debuted his take on the canelé that uses a 70-year-old family recipe passed down through the generations from his grandfather. Biting through the chewy, caramelised shell, the pastry reveals a soft and pillowy interior that imparts appetising honey and tangerine notes—even better is its large size relative to its peers, making for a worthy breakfast contender all on its own. At HK$28 per piece, pick up one of Renaud's canelés with a cup of coffee made using the El Costeño house blend at their Exchange Square location.
Rise by Classified, Shop 313, 3/F, Exchange Square Podium, 8 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong
Since 2017, Camille Moënne-Loccoz and Dominique Yau's bijou Tai Hang bakery has steadily won over Hong Kong's pastry fanatics with their wide selection of breads, pastries and even ice creams that belies the store's tiny footprint. Drop by on the weekend for their traditional caneles, which are made with real vanilla beans and oak barrel-aged rum for extra depth in flavour.
Plumcot, G/F, 10A Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong; +852 2573 6293
When canelé hunting, the last place you would think to look is a fine dining restaurant. Coming in at the end of a meal, Arcane's canelés are delightful as petit-fours, tying together the chef Shane Osborn's internationalist cuisine with a neat and sweet bow. Just make sure to leave some room for them!
Arcane, 3/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong
With their sculptural exterior, canelés have found a receptive audience on social media, so it's only natural that a host of online bakeries are capitalising on this fervour for the Bordelais pastry. At Lithium Pastries, the canelés are made using a batter that is initially refrigerated for three to four days (one to two days longer than average), and fermented at a low temperature to intensify the flavours. Incorporating Cohiba 8 Year Rum and Madagascar grade A vanilla beans, the resulting pastry is heavier on the vanilla flavour while retaining a good balance of sweetness and a pleasingly moist honeycomb interior. Order a box of six canelés online here for HK$260.
Another online bakery offering canelés is Cakeology, which sells a range of novel flavours for the canelé-agnostic. Alongside the original, which uses Tahitian vanilla, you can also expect earl grey, Valrhona 70% dark chocolate with Bailey's ganache, and hojicha or matcha from Kyoto tea company, Marukyu Koyamaen. Cakeology also regularly bakes seasonal flavours—think maple and cinnamon for Christmas, Kusmi rose green tea for Valentine's, and lemon custard for Mother's Day.
Zaan Zaan Canelé
At Zaan Zaan Canelé, the humble pastry becomes a medium for the meeting of East and West. The online bakery's six flavours include sesame hojicha, Shizuoka matcha, cinnamon black tea, coconut, and chocolate with almond; aside from the emphasis on tea, their recipes are also low in sugar and guilt-free for the health-conscious.