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Disappointing Balthazar Bakery experience; strong canele alternative?

Balthazar Bakery stuff is sold here in Philly even though we've got better locally produced loaves and canele .

Sep 08, 2011
gaetano in Manhattan

Canelé Misadventures Part IV

Yes they all came from the same oven. I do use different molds though. The more rounded form is from copper molded canele. The canele with more prominent edges are from silicone molds. They are equally superb.

Dec 24, 2010
gaetano in Home Cooking

Canelé Misadventures Part IV

hey guys

I hadn't been following this discussion and i was amazed to see that it gone on and on.

I haven't read the nearly 5 months worth of comments. I did skim through. Since my last post I've baked thousands of canele (like 30 or 40 thousand). I have been observing slight tweaks in the out comes. But in general i have used a recipe very very close to Clothilde on Zucchini and chocolate. I also follow her temps pretty closely. I believe the steady cooking temps are the main necessary ingredient for success.

We are Market Day Canelé
I'm happy to share info you can get me at

Dec 21, 2010
gaetano in Home Cooking

Uhockey Reviews Day 4 Philadelphia - Dutch Eating Place, Flying Monkey Patisserie, Le Bec Fin, La Colombe, Zahav

L2o's blog (re: canele) swipes Paula Wolfert's text verbatim and Gras plays along like it's his magical story. That's lame. It might not spoil his canelé. But it shows bad taste.

I stand by my claim. You ate my canelé after they were more than 12 hours out of the oven. L2o has a pastry chef cooking canelé nearly a la minute. When you come back I invite you to make an apples to apples comparison.

Sep 23, 2010
gaetano in Philadelphia

Uhockey Reviews Day 4 Philadelphia - Dutch Eating Place, Flying Monkey Patisserie, Le Bec Fin, La Colombe, Zahav

Hey Bud,

Thanks again for the compliments on Market Day Canele. L2o's are better only because they can bring them directly from their bakery to the table. Meet me for coffee on your next visit to confirm my claim.


Sep 23, 2010
gaetano in Philadelphia

My Canelé Misadventures, Thus Far

For 2.8 oz molds the oven should be 475 convection for about the 1st 15-20 mins then 375 to complete cooking.

Ballooning batter can result from too low a starting temperature. If your canele are growing too tall as they bake you can take them out and give them a poke or let them rest a just a minute to deflate. It's best to do this within the 1st 20 minutes. If you wait too long they will set up with an unfortunate shape and it can't be undone.

I don't recommend baking canele unattended.

Jul 27, 2010
gaetano in Home Cooking

ISO Beeswax for Canele

Pili the pharma grade beeswax is not necessary and sometimes is not as good as ordinary American beeswax. I suggest getting a block from an Ebay vendor. There are a few very reliable, high quality beeswax vendors there.

I bought 10 kilo's of organic, pharma grade recently and it's not as sweet as others I've used.

How Does One Use Beeswax in Canele Molds?

Beeswax and butter 50:50. You'll need only an ounce or 2 for a dozen molds. Use a silicone pastry brush. Bush in just a few dabs. Melt the mixture in a stainless bowl over simmering water. Everything cleans up with hot soapy water. Your molds may be a lil sticky the first few times. You can speed up the seasoning process by baking the molds with just beeswax and butter a few times for 5-10 mins in a hot oven. You can be more liberal with the mixture when you are seasoning them. Dump the hot mixture onto paper and trash.

Good luck.

Send me an email if you get stuck.

Jul 11, 2010
gaetano in Home Cooking

Bistrot La Minette - brief review

We enjoyed dining at Bistrot La Minette last night. The Bistrot hospitality was superb and the cooking was very decent. The dining room was stylish and comfortable enough without the overwrought falseness, ala Martha Stewart, that plagues some of the other 'bistros' around town.
The host was gracious and polished and the servers had an excellent team service ethic going on. The cooking was a little spotty but enjoyable.

We started with a shared glass of muscat (graciously split) and an order of foie that was tasty if a bit under seared. Next the mussel dish with poached egg was buttery and delightful. The mussels were flavorful but without the a la minute plump juiciness that would have made this dish shimmer. The quail, stuffed with garlic sausage, could have used a bit more focus in the seasoning and roasting but very enjoyable. I had monkfish as a main course the fish was prime and tasty the amercaine sauce not so much but brussel sprouts supplied an inventive, delicious vegetable crunch highlighting the meaty fish and mashed potatoes. The Braised rabbit too was tasty but a bit on the cooked side. The 'tagliatelle' were nothing of the sort and more like a doughy fettuccine that detracted from the composition. We shared a lemon tart with cassis sorbet. My server was flawless until he served a delayed, warmish coffee at meal's end.

Craig LaBan criticised the bread on his visit to Bistrot La Minette. I too thought the crumb too fine but the crust was nice as was the salty butter. His review also touches on a soupy dauphinois. I sampled that gratin and it was not soupy but more curdish, tasty enough.

I drank calvados throughout my dinner but the lil lady started with 'Pomme A La Poire' made with calvados and pear puree and enough cinnamon to spice several orders of french toast.

Mar 07, 2009
gaetano in Pennsylvania

Bad Dinner, No Tip

I think it is good practice to address the situation right away. Either get up and leave the place at the first sign of trouble,like when water was requested and glasses slammed OR at the first sign of trouble leave the table, walk to the host stand, and ask to speak with the manager. Explain your expectations and describe what has happened so far. In my experience these tactics are very effective.

Oct 11, 2008
gaetano in Features

Visiting Philadelphia--Suggestions?

Definitely Dinic's, if you must have a cheesesteak go to Sonny's on Mkt st. If you have a car and time go to Steve's Prince of Steaks in the NE about 20-25 mins from cc. I found the cooking at Lacroix spectacular, i was there just a few weeks ago. Southwark is an excellent spot for cocktails and the cooking is very good. Weekday lunch at FOGO is a deal if you are truly chowhounds. If you are eating in the Italian Mkt LaLupe is the brightest star.

Mar 17, 2008
gaetano in Pennsylvania

Alternatives to Starbucks

Wow you received excellent recommendations. Rays is a good choice if you want a spectacular brew their blue mountain is as good as the best of Jamaica and the Kona is a s good as 5 star Hawaii. Old City is also excellent. If you think your cafe has more elan with a whiff of BO Colombe is your spot.

Old City Coffee 221 Church is an excellent spot for a visitor. Trendy neighborhood near historic stuff, nice architecture, and you can walk anywhere in town from there or hop on the El. The spot in RTM is also an excellent place to grab a cup.

Mar 17, 2008
gaetano in Pennsylvania

Veal - where to buy in Baltimore?

Sorry not exactly on theme but this is a saucy love dish.

korean barbecue in Philly?

Kim's BBQ 5955 N 5th. Authentic and delicious.

Feb 06, 2008
gaetano in Pennsylvania

It’s pawpaw season – recipes and ideas?

I love pawpaws, rare here in Philly. Great job on this page hope it's okay to put a link on my blog 'Philly Market Cafe'

Nov 07, 2007
gaetano in Home Cooking