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Le Fournil, taste of traditional French baking

Le Fournil Bakery was voted best dessert in Canmore for the 2019 Best of the Bow reader's choice awards

CANMORE – With traditional French-inspired baking, Le Fournil Bakery cooks up everything from bread and viennoiseries to artisanal cakes and it is all made in house.

But owner, Pascale Tétreault, knows all too well that it takes a lot of work to create a quality products.

“It’s easier to have kids than to make croissants – because making croissants takes three days,” said Tétreault, recalling the words of standup comedian Michelle Wolf.

“Then she goes on about, ‘making a human can be about three minutes in a bathroom at the bar.’ To make croissants you have to plan it – oh my God she’s so funny. I loved it.”

Le Fournil's baked goods are treated with the utmost care from using the best ingredients mainly originating in Canada, creating everything by hand and sticking to traditional French baking, refraining from the use of additives and preservatives.

“My very first bread I made when I was either six or seven years old with my grandmother. I still remember the look, the smell and everything. Loved it. Always loved baking,” Tétreault said.

It wasn’t until 2010 that Tétreault decided that she wanted to open a bakery. She studied in San Francisco and then opened Le Fournil Bakery in 2012. Rather than thinking of Le Fournil Bakery as her dream, Tétreault thinks of it more as a project.

“If you want a dream, go to sleep. If you want to accomplish something, you have to have a project where you’re going to take some steps and you’re going to have a clear, concise goal,” Tétreault said.

Now, her business has won the Rocky Mountain Outlook's Best of the Bow reader's choice award for best dessert in Canmore this year.

While most people think that the key to an excellent dessert is its sweetness, Tétreault begs to differ. Instead, richness is what makes a quality dessert.

“It’s not always about sweetness, it’s about richness,” Tétreault said.

Richness in baked goods requires a key ingredient, which is butter. Ordering about 120 pounds of butter per week, Le Fournil sources quality Canadian butter with a high percentage of fat.

Along with the butter, Tétreault added that richness also comes from quality ingredients like using the best chocolate possible.

“It’s really about which ingredients you use and how you use it, what combinations, so you increase the flavours and that increases you feeling of richness,” Tétreault said.

The bakery’s most coveted desserts are the Gâteau au Chocolat (chocolate cake) and Gâteaux aux Carottes (carrot cake).  The chocolate cake is a devil’s food cake with a light ganache enveloped in a chocolate glaze. Then there’s the carrot cake, which is simply made with no fruits or nuts and topped with a spicy cream cheese frosting.

“But they’re not our favourites, not by any stretch of the imagination. Our favourites are the latest ones we make because we get inspired, we want to try something new. That’s why our cakes, we go through cakes and we change them. Not as regularly as we’d like, but as often as we can,” Tétreault said.