After my recent trip to Paris, followed by a trip to Trader Joe’s to restock my pantry, I had a little realization about Trader Joe’s Canneles de Bordeaux. I reviewed these specialty french pastries a few months ago, when Trader Joe’s launched a pre-baked frozen version. They were ok, but not nearly as good as a fresh cannele. Ideally, a cannele should have a slightly crisp crust and a very custardy center. What I realized is that even though they weren’t quite as good as a fresh-from-the-oven cannele, they were a lot better than some of the heavy, bread-like canneles I tasted in France. This inspired me to pick up a box of Trader Joe’s newest offering – Chocolate Canneles de Bordeaux – and give them a try.
Like the regular canneles, these chocolate canneles are best eaten after being defrosted and reheated in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350F. When made this way, they come out with a slightly crisp, yet slightly tough, crust and a moist, soft interior. They remind me of a not-too-sweet molten center chocolate cake, since the center seemed to be more like a half-baked brownie than a custard. That said, they were pretty good and definitely unusual. My preference is still for the classic, where you can get the notes of vanilla, caramel and eggy custard in each bite, but the dark cocoa flavor (these are so dark in color, they’re almost black) makes these a good choice for chocolate fans who prefer dark chocolate.