Frenchies Canelés: Tustin Couple Baking up French Pastry for O.C.

What are canelés?

They’re small French pastries that originated in Bordeaux. They’re flavored with rum and vanilla and have a custardy center and a crunchy, caramelized exterior.

How do the French enjoy them?
Typically with an espresso.

What’s your secret for making them taste like they came from a Paris patisserie?
My husband was born in Paris and learned to make them from his mother and grandmother.

You’re a full-time marketer, and Christophe is an engineer; how do you make this work?
My husband makes the batter—it has to sit for two days. And then I bake the canelés and deliver them. As a marketer, I have the flexibility of working from home.

Ordering advice?
You should order three days ahead. Also, they have a two-day shelf life, though they can be frozen. We make the mini-size, too, and can do gluten- or dairy-free or both. We hope to have a churro canelé soon.

What prompted you to turn this into a business?
Christophe started making them for me at home. And then we made them as gifts to give at our wedding. Our family and French friends kept asking us to bake some for them. So we thought, why not start our own business?

What’s in your canelé future?
We want to partner with coffeehouses and retail chains. Canelés are not as sweet as most pastries, so they’re a nice alternative with coffee.

Photos by Priscilla Iezzi

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