Being fifty-something, I’ve got a bucket list underway. Like many other bucket lists, it features a trip to Paris. One day. Sigh.
In the meantime, I’ve discovered a new, local slice of France where I can glean a Parisienne fix. Any time the desire strikes.
Gracious & Delicious founders, Marcus and Caroline Gniel, opened their Geelong West shopfront today.
And I was there.
With my tastebuds at the ready.
Expectant and (a little too) eager.
Gracious & Delicious is a wholesale/retail specialty food business supplying product to cafes, markets and food stores throughout Australia. Their signature product is the canelé, a crispy, custardy cake treasure that whispers loud of French patisseries and continental cake sophistication.
This morning, I had my first taste of a canelé, straight from the oven, still warm and whispering. As I nibbled past the slight crunch of the “crust” it unearthed a delightfully soft, custardy centre with a fabulous mouthfeel and a flavour reminiscent of Nan’s comfort-food-puddings all rolled into one, only better.
Where has the canelé been hiding all my life?
OK. I get it. It’s been hiding in France.
Thanks to Gracious & Delicious, I don’t have to wait until I thwack the bucket list hard enough to get myself to Paris. I can enjoy canelés right here, in G-town. What’s even better? They’re baked here in Geelong (the bakery’s attached to the shop) from fresh ingredients like butter and eggs and milk and … liqueur. Mmmmm.
What’s even better than that?
Gracious & Delicious make all sorts of French-inspired goodies like two-bite lemon tarts, raspberry friands, apple friands, brownies (like you’ve never seen before), mini Christmas cakes and more.
But wait, there’s more … imported French products like Rillettes de Canard (we call this “death by duck” in our family – what a way to go), Graisse de Canard (duck fat, sumptuous for roasting potatoes in), Duck Comfit. Even French linen tea towels printed with a recipe for canelés.
I remember when the Newtown reaches of Pakington Street were known as the Paris end of Pako. No longer so. We’ve got some serious sophistication going on over in the west end.
Gracious & Delicious (the name is a nod to Marcus and Caroline’s daughters’ names) is not your average shopfront. It’s an evocative sliver of France.
Think: a chic Paris apartment aesthetic (not your jaunty weird-moustached-Marcel-Marceau feel) in a traditional green palette with wall sconces, a mini chandelier, wooden shop counters and a giant triple-tiered silver server.
There’s even a vintage fixie with a flower-filled bike basket parked out front. Sigh.
Marcus and Caroline have carved a reputation as canelé specialists since returning from a stint living in France. Read more about their story at their website www.canele.com.au
I was thrilled to find the Gracious & Delicious products reasonably priced and superbly packaged. Perfect for gift giving. (Or heavenly morsels to keep for yourself.)
How impressive would it be to turn up at work with a box of these for morning tea? Freshly-baked, on the premises, in Geelong, by French cake specialists.
Sure beats a box of doughnuts from the supermarket (yes, I’m looking at you, Mr P).
Let them eat (French) cake instead.
And the other bonus? Once you’ve selected your cakes-of-choice, pop around the corner, down the laneway and enjoy an expertly brewed coffee from King of the Castle Café.
So much awesome in one building.
Gracious & Delicious
14 Pakington Street, Geelong West
Open: M, W, Thur, F: 9 – 4 | Sat: 9 – 2
Closed: Sun, Tues
Phone: 03 5221 5271
Mobile: 0447 772 387
F: Gracious & Delicious