A French Pastry in Best Form

Recently I visited the newest French addition to the Upper East Side, and it was wonderful in all its brick and mortar glory!  Now we have a shop that exclusively makes and sells the fantastic French pastry from Bordeaux called canelés.  

Storefront of Canelé by Céline

What is a canelé? 

A canelé is a French pastry, baked in a mold, with a soft, tender custard center and a dark, caramelized crust. Originally, it was created in a convent in Bordeaux (the Southwest of France) in the late 17th century. In the past few years, many NYC area bakeries have been introducing the canelé into their stores. Finally more of this delightful delicacy has made its way to our shores and into our stomachs. However, the best kind can be found here at Canelé by Céline.

Canelé by Céline

Canelé by Céline was started by Céline Legros, a business lawyer from Paris who had a huge passion for cooking. After leaving the corporate world, she started her own catering business where she created and sold tasty French pastries - mini and full-size canelés, and financiers. Her canelés were a hit with renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.  Céline has reinvented the classic recipe by using her own take on it while introducing unique flavors. 

When I visited the store, I picked up a box of all the available sweet canelé flavors available that day as well as three of the four savory selections.  

Canelé by Céline

Canelé by Céline

Mini canelés in Vanilla (the classic & my favorite, not pictured) in Orange Blossom, Orange, and Lemon

Canelé by Céline

More minis in Rum, Pistachio, Rose Water, and Dark Chocolate 

Savory canelés

The Savory Selection: Truffle (made with black truffles from Truffes Plantin), Parmesan, Basil Pesto, and Chorizo

Each savory canelé is a mini meal in a bite! My favorite is the truffle. It’s rich in flavor and leaves you wanting more. The truffle is available in the larger size canelé as are all flavors. If you wanted to order for a special event or occasion, your selection can be customized. Bring to these to your next party or get-together with friends, family, or work, and you’ll make a good impression.

Canelé by Céline

I wasn’t able to bring home any of the mini financiers, but they were tempting!  The flavors here are PInk Praline, Walnut, Plain, and Chocolate Chip.  On my next visit, I’ve got to grab these to go.  

If you’re a fan of French food, sweets, and everything French (like me!), you must stop by Canelé by Céline.  Everything is freshly baked daily, and it’s open 7 days a week. It may be in the land far, far away that is the Upper East Side (haha!), but it’s a trek that is absolutely worth it!
 

Canelé by Céline
400 E 82nd Street, New York, NY 10028
(between 1st & York Avenues)
(646) 678-4124
https://canelebyceline.com/

NYC gets its first flagship macaron shop

MAISON Ladurée

[The Upper East Side Welcomes the Sweet]

Ladurée - the luxury, French pastry shop has opened its doors on the Upper East Side.

Having opened on August 30, 2011, the craze for Ladurée macarons has been insane!  The line wrapped around the corner of E. 71st street and ends inside the shop. A typical wait is 45 minutes to over an hour or two. Never have I seen such a wait for sweets like this in New York, only in Japan.  I always thought I would never subject myself to waiting 45 minutes to over two hours on a line for a cake or pastries from a famous maker after seeing people in Japan do it patiently and calmly.

Upon reading the news about the opening of Ladurée, I was determined to visit the place.  I love sweets, macarons especially, so I had to go. Seeing that the line outside Ladurée at 3:45PM on the Friday afternoon before Labor Day weekend was half the block of 71st street, I almost gave up and went to yoga early instead.  I became one of the many waiting for two and a half hours to get in.  Yes, 2.5 hours. I am insane.

Besides the delicate, delicious, and delightful macarons, Ladurée also sells handmade chocolate, tea, and ice cream. They also carry eco-friendly totes, candles, and home fragrances for sale. At $2.70 a piece, a macaron here is the most expensive in the city yet very well worth the price.  You can purchase them by color and design of box in six, twelve, twenty-four, and probably other multiples of six.

The macarons are shipped by boat daily from France since they’re so fragile, and because there is no pastry chef here yet to make these beauties.

There are only two cashiers available inside - one for cash, the other credit. Credit takes a bit longer because they must make a carbon copy of your card to in order to charge you. I hope they update their CC system. The sales attendants were very nice and helpful, but still need to cope with the volume of customers flooding the store. Well, they are new and probably did not expect to be overwhelmed once opening. 

I bought a 24-piece pink box of macarons that day.  All 14 flavors with a few doubles.  After a wait that long, I felt I should sample all flavors and take more home with me to share with my family. My favorite flavor is the Cassis Violette. I love, love cassis.

I can’t believe how patient I was during that wait! Good thing,I had a book with me to read, but that only distracted me for so long, hahaha.

Next, I’ll have to see how tea at Ladurée measures up to that of Mariage Frères.  (Mariage Frères needs to open a tea salon in New York as soon as possible. I’ll be ther first to go).

Will I return?  I braved the wait the first time, so I’ll endure another wait.

Maison Ladurée
864 Madison Avenue (bet. E. 70th & 71st streets)
New York, NY 10021
(646) 558-3157

http://www.laduree.fr/en/scene