Stephanie and Christophe Courtillier began Frenchies with a simple goal in mind: to share the crunchy, smooth, rum-tinged goodness of the classic canelé throughout Southern California. “Our vision is to bring friends and family together and provide a memorable experience to all who taste our canelés,” said Frenchies Founder Stephanie Courtillier.
Frenchies began more than a year ago, a homegrown brand inspired by the love of French pastries shared among its founders. “My husband was born in Paris and learned to make them from his mother and grandmother,” Stephanie explains. Before they were married, Christophe would bake canelés in the couple’s kitchen. The pastries were then given out—to rave reviews—at their wedding. Soon, the secret of canelés was a secret no more and the newlyweds realized they had a viable business on their hands (and in their oven).
If you’re unfamiliar with the canelé, it’s a small French pastry flavored with rum and vanilla, characterized by a thick, caramelized crust and a soft, custard center. The canelé is believed to originate from a food called “canaule,” bread first made in 18th century Bordeaux from flour and egg yolks.
Today, the pastry is one of France’s most popular delights. Stroll through the pâtisseries in Paris and you’ll find the gooey goodness of canelés among the ranks of macarons and croissants on display; here in California, they’re really hard to find … or used to be.
Part of the reason canelés aren’t widespread is because they’re deceptively difficult to master. Though the pastries themselves are simple—with few ingredients and flavors pure and bright—crafting them properly is an art unto its own. For Frenchies canelés, Christophe carefully mixes the batter, which must sit for two days. Once it’s ready, Stephanie bakes them then hand delivers fresh canelés to customers throughout California.
“You should order three days ahead,” Stephanie says, adding that while canelés have a two-day self life, they can also be frozen. Frenchies canelés are available in mini sizes, gluten-free, dairy-free or both.
In the end, no matter the variety of Frenchies you choose, eating them is an ode to a longstanding French tradition, now re-envisioned by two food-loving individuals eager to share canelés right here at home.
To order Frenchies today visit bit.ly/westomagazine.