Many of our regular customers know the wonderful Junko, who has been an invaluable member of our shop team for many years. Junko’s expertise runs beyond coffee to food and baking, and we’re thrilled to be offering her delicious cannelés in several Market Lane shops every week.
We asked Junko to tell us about her history with Market Lane and baking, and which coffees pair best with her exquisite treats!
Market Lane Coffee: How did you get started at Market Lane?
Junko: My partner, who is now the head roaster at Market Lane, used to work as a barista when he started. He often told me how much he enjoyed working there, and how much he loved the community. He recommended that I join the team as well, so I applied. That was in 2014!
What inspired your interest in cooking and/or baking?
Over the years of working in hospitality, I have met many talented and passionate people from different backgrounds who have introduced me to amazing food experiences and cultures. I also worked at Prahran Market when I started at Market Lane, so I came across a lot of interesting seasonal foods and ingredients to try and cook!
What made you start baking cannelés?
Whenever I have a coffee, I love to have a treat on the side. Cannelé had always been one of my all-time favourite sweets but it was difficult to find them freshly baked, so I wanted to try to bake my own. It took a little while to get it right in the beginning, but once I invested in the proper copper moulds from France and some trial and error to get texture and flavours that I liked, it began to come together. After sharing them with friends and family, the feedback I received inspired me to continue my cannelé journey.
Can you tell us about the process of making them?
I make them at a great baking space called Worksmith in Collingwood. I start by making the batter a few days before they need to be baked, at least 48 hours. This gives the flour enough time to fully absorb in the batter and cook more evenly. In the meantime, I prep the copper moulds by lining them with melted beeswax. It’s important to have the moulds at the right temperature so the beeswax doesn’t harden too quickly. When it’s time to bake, I pour the batter into the cooled copper moulds and bake for about an hour while I monitor them and make adjustments to heat and time.
What are the best coffees to enjoy with your cannelés?
I usually enjoy having a flat white, as the caramelised sugars in the cannelé contrast nicely with the creaminess of the milk. I also enjoy lower acidity and chocolatey filter coffees such as Brazil or Guatemalan coffees. Both are equally the best ways to have it for me!
What cooking adventures/experiments/plans are you excited about for the future?
I’d like to experiment using Japanese ingredients with unique flavour combinations with cannelés. As I grew up in Japan, I’d like to experiment with some more familiar Japanese ingredients, such as sake, amazake, umeshu, yuzushu and so many more. I would also love to have a pop-up shop in the near future, so I could meet the customers who enjoy my cannelés, and introduce more people to them.
Junko’s cannelés are available every Tuesday at our Sydney Road, Prahran, Victoria St (Queen Vic Market) and Collins St (CBD) shops, and every Saturday at our Sydney Road, Prahran, Victoria St shops. Pop in and enjoy one with a coffee soon!