A few months ago, a new French business launched in Australia: Sweet Dreams French Canelés. We speak to Delphine from Sweet Dreams French Canelés.
You recently launched your online store, Sweet Dreams French Canelés. You’ve said that you had dreamt about opening a pretty canelé boutique in Sydney after a trip to France.
Yes, that’s right. I had a single dream about 2 years ago after our return from visiting our family in France. The next day I started cooking the marvellous little cake that is the canelé, and then I never stopped! I trained myself tirelessly to create the perfect canelé, in trying to reach the optimal baking temperatures and to find the ideal proportions for the ingredients. In this way, I created unique recipes. With the help of my husband, Benoit, who later joined the adventure, we decided to create Sweet Dreams French Canelés to share and introduce this delicious patisserie to Australians.
For the uninitiated, what is a canelé?
The canelé is a small French pâtisserie which originates from Bordeaux (South-West of France), which deserves to be known, with a fine caramelized crust and a soft centre.
It’s quite difficult to make canelés and they require patience, training and perseverance. In effect, canelé pastry needs to be prepared 2 days before to let it rest. Each canelé is then cooked in individual copper moulds, at different temperatures, for an hour, to give both crunch and softness to the canelé. Like with the traditional method, we use bee’s wax in our moulds to get shiny canelés.
Are canelés eaten in a particular region or for a special occasion in France?
Canelés come from Bordeaux, but we can find them all over France in the large bakeries. Most of the time, the canelé is appreciated with a coffee or a tea at the end of a meal for dessert, or also for a snack. French people generally buy these pastries when they are invited for a meal at a friend’s or family’s house.
Canelés are for any special occasion (birthday Christmas, a celebration at work) because people want to share a moment together.
Why do you like canelés so much?
I love this mixture of textures: the crunchy caramel on the outside which encloses a soft inside which is completely unexpected and really enjoyable. It reminds me of my childhood memories when I would buy them from boutiques in Lyon with my sister for our afternoon snacks.
Before opening Sweet Dreams French Canelés, what did you do?
I was an Interior Designer. Having obtained my degree in France in 2008, I had the opportunity to design more than 200 restaurants in Paris and throughout France, as well as in Europe. After having moved to Australia, I specialised in office design and worked for major global companies in Sydney. Having lost my jobs because of COVID in June, with Benoit, we decided to try this new adventure.
Your canelés are made from local and organic ingredients. Plus the packaging is compostable, recyclable and plastic-free. Why did you make these decisions?
The canelé is a noble product and quite difficult to make so we wanted to only work with the very best ingredients to create a product of which we are proud from beginning to end. That’s why we chose to only use organic ingredients to obtain the best.
Concerned about ecology and in order to reduce our impact on the environment, we wanted to give preference to local products made in Australia. Our packaging is plastic-free, recyclable and our stickers and protective leaves in the boxes are compostable and printed with plant-based inks.
Do you have cooking training?
I don’t have any pâtissière training, but I love cooking! I obtained my Food Safety Supervisor certificate this year because it was important to have the knowledge to be able to provide healthy products made safely.
Do you also sell your canelés at markets around Sydney?
Yes, we are at the Kings Cross Organic Food Markets every Sunday from 8.30am to 2.30pm. And we will probably be at other markets around Sydney in 2021!
You launched Sweet Dreams French Canelés with four flavours: original, chocolate, lavender and lemon myrtille. Why did you choose these flavours and do you plan to add other flavours in the future?
We wanted to revisit the traditional canelé that we know, which is vanilla and rum. All of our canelés are alcohol free to be enjoyed by young and old alike. Chocolate is a classic in pastry making and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create an intense dark chocolate canelé.
We wanted to represent both French and Australian cultures in our canelés. That’s why we created the lavender canelé, which represents Provence and the South of France in summer, and the Lemon Myrtle Canelé, which is a tropical plant native to Australia and originating from Queensland.
We are preparing a special box for Valentine’s Day with rose canelés, and the box will be available online from the beginning of February .
We also sold traditional macarons in December at our Christmas markets which worked well, and given their success, we are working on packaging so as to have them available for sale soon on our website, and they will be available for postage across Australia. And we’ve recently started selling the real copper moulds (which come from France) to make your own canelés at home.
We will also have limited edition canelés throughout the year for other special occasions, such as Father’s Day. And we are continuously working on new recipes to extend our product range soon.
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
Sweet Dreams French Canelés was created to offer a unique experience, using the 5 senses, in order to bring joy to the client. The protective papers in our boxes can be used for making sudoku, crosswords, colouring, scribbling and give information on how to keep your canelé, the ingredients used, and our contacts.
We also have a special playlist on Spotify (t.ly/frenchsweetdreams) to spend a moment enjoying canelés while listening to French music.
TO ORDER: The Sweet Dreams French Canelés website is at: https://www.sweetdreams-frenchcaneles.com.au/
PICK-UP: You can pick up your Sweet Dreams French Canelés order from Zetland, Sydney.
DELIVERY: Delivery is possible within a 15km zone from Sweet Dreams French Canelés in Zetland 2017. The relevant postcodes are: 2000, 2006 to 2011, 2015 to 2050, 2052, 2060 to 2069, 2088 to 2090, 2130 to 2133, 2193, 2194, 2203 to 2208, 2216 to 2220. But if you’re outside of this zone, you can contact them via email on [email protected] to find out if delivery is possible for you.