Make your own ‘Palets Bretons’ biscuits at Maison Guella
In Cancale, at an artisan biscuit factory
Palets Bretons’ - biscuits made with salted butter - have an important place in Brittany's gastronomy. These are the sweet treats that grandmas have given to their grandchildren for generations. Cancale confectioners Jennifer and Vincent will teach you how to make them. This very simple recipe can be adapted to suit your own tastes. Try it at home – as often as you like!
A childhood pleasure
Of all the different Breton biscuits, palets have always been my favourites. The reason is simple: they're the biggest! And I love their salted butter flavour and their sandy texture that crumbles when you take a bite. I think it’s a great idea to learn how to make them. Especially as it’s the master bakers from Maison Guella, the famous confectioners and biscuit-makers on the Emerald Coast, who will be sharing their recipe, techniques and trade secrets with me.
Let's get cooking!
Jennifer and Vincent Guella welcome us to their artisan biscuit factory in Cancale, a true foodies' palace. Here they turn out salted butter caramel in the form of sweets or ‘Gwelladou’ spread, ‘La Chiquette’ lollies or ‘Le Guénaot’ cartons... and their most recent creation, ‘Confiture de Caramel aux Fruits’ - a range of caramel fruit jams in 11 flavours, including apple, with hints of tarte tatin. Vincent's workshop is at the back, where a table has been set up especially for our group, and we all put our aprons on and take our places to prepare the ingredients. Jennifer starts by giving us a tip: "To soften the butter, cover it with baking parchment and beat it with a rolling pin." Making biscuits is a great way to vent!
An easy-to-make traditional recipe
Jennifer cheerfully gives us step-by-step instructions, under Vincent’s watchful eye. First we mix the flour, sugar and yeast. Then we add the salted butter. Incidentally, do you know why the Bretons are so fond of salted butter? Jennifer will tell you a story about this, going back to the Middle Ages... Next you add the egg yolks and mix by hand. We rub, we knead, we flatten... It's fun, although our muscles are starting to feel the heat. "There may be quite a few calories in palets, but we burn a lot when we’re making them," Jennifer laughs.
Okay, our dough is ready. "If you like, you can add chocolate chips, Smarties® or caramel chunks." Eagerly, we all concoct our own recipe. Then we roll the dough into a sausage shape, cut slices off and put them into the moulds. Julien, who’s come to Cancale for his holidays, has added a dollop of jam to his. I'm having a go at chocolate chip palets sprinkled with a pinch of fleur de sel. Then it’s into the oven with them.
Gourmet tastes: a family tradition
While our palets are baking, Jennifer offers us a glass of apple juice. She tells us the Guella family history as she gives us a tour of the factory. "Vincent still follows the recipes of his grandfather, who started the confectionery business in 1920. Ever since then, we've carried on using the same copper appliance that he used for making caramel." The palets are done! Jennifer gives us labelled boxes with our names on, for us to take home our 30 or so biscuits. Tonight, I'm going to really impress my kids! Especially since my chocolate and fleur de sel palets are (though I say it myself) absolutely delicious!
By Julie Durand
Workshops take place from 15:00 to 17:00
They are limited to eight people
Open to participants aged 12 or over
Advance booking essential: email@example.com