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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Trader Joe's Cannelés De Bordeaux

Let's take a coffee break, shall we?

No, not more coffee, as inviting as that sounds. If you haven't been paying attention to the blog recently, it's been all on up on coffee products. I'd mention them, but there's too many....just take a look over on the right sidebar under posts from this month going back.

I mean, an actual break from anything coffee related. It's a good thing, and we're all gonna need it. More on that...later.

Although, let's be honest, taking a look at the picture on the box of Trader Joe's Cannelés De Bordeaux, that'd go well with a cup of coffee, right? Imagine that served alongside a steamy cafe au lait or cappucino or whatever at some sidewalk café. Looks fancy. Has a fancy name. Has gots to be fancy, right?

Ehhhhhhhhhhh.

So boxed fourpack come with the little French delights already fully baked, just frozen. To prepare, either thaw for 20 minutes (who's got time for that?) or nuke in the microwave for 20 seconds. We went the nuclear option. Twenty seconds didn't seem enough, the pastries were still cool to the touch. So another 20 seconds, and then, you know, 20 more just for the heck of it. Even after all that, the cannelés were still cool and clammy to the touch. Oh well. Time for a bite...

"Carmelized on the outside" is one way of putting it. Hard and dense with a suggestion of crispy carmelization is another. It was definitely tougher and chewier than anticipated. And the insides weren't much better. Sandy and I have a disagreement over what the word "custardy" should imply. She thinks it ought to mean creamy, like custard cream/creme. I stick more to the true meaning of custard, meaning a dish with eggs, milk, flavoring and sugar, baked until set, so cakelike except spongey. But we both agreed that the innards didn't match our hopes. Cool, dense, but fairly pleasantly (if unevenly) vanilla-esque. Think more my interpretation of custardy for sure.

Sandy disliked hers to a great degree. She plots and plans her treats all day long, and had sacrificed some ice cream so she could eat one cannelé in all of its 120-calorie glory. Very pouty afterwards. She gave it a two. I'll go a little higher, but not much.....but I'll be willing to be wrong here. If you like them, and have a recommended suggestion on how to optimize the thawout process to ensure its utmost tastiness, I'm all ears. We have two cannelés left, and I (at least) will try your recommended method and report back. Until then, as is (and keep in mind this is following the box's suggestion for preparation, so don't hate on me too much) it's just a middlin' 2.5.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Cannelés De Bordeaux: 4.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

16 comments:

  1. I didn't try one, although I would like to due to the simple ingredient list, but I do know that putting pastry/bread in the microwave can give it an odd texture. Maybe try thawing it in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes...and then for a few minutes under the broiler to extra caramalize the top...

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  2. they are supposed to be dense. Have you had a real canele from France??

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  3. I like these! The instructions on the package are misleading -- they need to be thawed in the 'frig for at least 20 minutes, THEN microwaved for 20 seconds, or eaten cold. (They're good warm or cold.) Here's my tip: Take them out of the freezer before you go to bed and thaw overnight in the 'frig. The next day they'll be perfectly thawed and ready to eat.

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  4. This is exactly how I prepared them. After thawing I zapped them for 20 seconds. I loved these and thought they were very similar to the ones I bought at Dominique Ansel's bakery in NYC. I've repurchased these multiple times and really like them. I would give them an 8.5 at least.

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    1. That's a most helpful review! Dominique is my standard for French baked goods.

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  5. Interesting! I saw these but couldn't bear to pay $1 apiece as they're something I make sometimes and the ingredients are very cheap. If they're done right, they are supposed to be slightly chewy on the outside, with a fairly dense custard on the inside. The line between a good one and not-so-good one, though, depends a lot on texture, so it's probably worth trying the defrost & reheat method the others suggest to see if that makes a difference.

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  6. I must have messed up on my comment....... Hmmmmmmmmm I think I said something like I love pudding and custards. I saw these at TJ's this past weekend. They did not peak my curiosity enough to put them in the basket.

    Happy weekend.

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  7. I LOVED these! I let them thaw in the fridge, then used the oven to heat and crisp. Divine!!!! 9.5/10 from me! And the fact that a sinful tasting French pastry is a measly 120 calories makes them 10/10 for me!

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    1. That's how I assume you'd cook these, screw the instructions. I'm going to try them the next time I'm at TJ's.

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    2. Thanks! My package is still in the freezer and I'm going to cook them exactly as you suggest.

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  8. I love love these and had them at a French bakery before and these were pretty on point. You should thaw then microwave for 20 seconds. You microwaved it too many times and probably overcooked the custard on the inside. They are supposed to be a bit crunchy on outside and chewy custard like on the inside. I love these!

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  9. Let thaw a couple hours at room temperature. They taste fine.

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  10. I didn't thaw mine, but microwaved on lower settings, and they were delicious!

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  11. Don't let it anywhere near the microwave! Thaw on the counter for an hour, then put it in the toaster at 500F for 4 minutes or so until it's slightly hot on the outside. Result is something just a tiny bit lower quality than the best ones I've had at real bakeries. And better than some bad versions I've had and paid $5 each for!

    Given how difficult these are to find and how very good these are if handled correctly, I'd give these 9/10. "20 minutes, who has time for that?" Seriously? You destroyed the pastries and then gave them a bad review. Ignorant and total fail review.

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  12. Thawed for 15 on the counter. Microwaved for 20 seconds. Perfection!

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  13. I had them tonight and they were outstanding. I agree with some other comments that you were too impatient and killed them by microwave.

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