Some of your are sharper than I thought and were very, very close.
And thanks to Aude, I’ve added a new French word to my vocabulary: Nounours, or, Teddy Bear (ours means ‘bear’.)
Brian thought they were the French version of Mallomarsand he shares my passion for the little dome-like marshmallow mounds resting on a disk of graham crackers finished with an über-thin dark chocolate coating.
Luckyguess perhaps mockingly thought they were breasts, but if breasts were indeed available in a chocolate-coated variety, I suspect they’d be a lot more popular than they already are. And Pru fell for the oldest trick in the book, the ‘slide-your-cursor-over-the-blog-photo’, which effectively threw her off-track completely.
So what are they?
They’re chocolate-coated candies with a marshmallow filling, and a nubbin of hazelnut paste (a word that may send Aude to the French dictionary, as Nounours sent me to mine), all enrobed in a thin shell of delicously-dark chocolate. Each candy perfectly resembles a canellé, those little cakes from Bordeaux, baked in copper molds coated with beeswax, creating a dark, crusty shell around the eggy cake batter.
Canellés became all the rage amongst American bakers a few years back, but they’re difficult to bake correctly (…and before you get your panties in a knot about how I’ve spelled canellés, there’s a few different ways to spell them.)
When you find one, a good canellé will be very good indeed…but a well-made one is indeed rarly encountered (there’s a kiosk in the gare Montparnasse in Paris which sells terrific canellés direct from Bordeaux). The best have a hard, tough outer-coating, yielding to a soft, rich, vanilla-scented center that’s eggy and pillow-soft.
When I spotted these in the confectionary shop, the proprietor excited told me all about them…but in such rapid-fire French, that although her enthusiam had become contageous, I could only comprehend about one-third of what she was saying. When I detected the word guimauve (marshmallow) jumbled in her exhaltations, I had to try them.
And luckily for me, I did!
Now I have to find those little chocolate-dipped nounours…