Thursday, January 29, 2009
Fun with Tuiles, or Daring Bakers Are At It Again
First, the housekeeping: This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day! and Zorra of 1x umrühren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.
Now to the challenge.
I had only one BIG problem this time.
But, it's not what you think.
These crispy tuiles were so delicious that they barely survived to be photographed. They are a fragile lot, so, of course, when one breaks, what does the smart baker do? Eat it, without hesitation. Oops. Broke another. Must eat that, too.
Well, that behavior just had to stop, or there would be nothing left.
Tuiles bring out the creativity in a baker and they are one of the most easy treats to bake. Just take a look at all the variations from the Daring Bakers!
I probably shouldn't admit this, but I made them Wednesday night, last minute, while I was making dinner. The filling was already prepared and waiting, so the final dessert required only minimal assembly.
For the stencil, I cut up a cereal box and used a stencil knife to cut the shapes. (It's helpful being a quilter, because cutting mats, rulers, and sharp instruments are always at the ready.) Just for fun, I added some beet powder along with the flour to color the tuiles a delicate pink. It coordinated well with the Blueberry-Lingonberry Soup filling.
I began with a triangle shape,
but I quickly changed my mind and did circles that ended up being more bowl shaped.
With the tiny bit of remaining batter, I did free-form swooshes on some foil with my handy-dandy small off-set spatula. I decided those were fair game to devour.
Then I filled the cooled tuiles with some of the chilled soup.
Here's the basic recipe all the Daring Bakers used. For more variations, please visit Karen's or Zorra's blogs.
Following is a recipe taken from a book called “The Chocolate Book”, written by female Dutch Master chef Angélique Schmeinck.
Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)
Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch
65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.1/4 ounces sifted all purpose flour
1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice (I used some beet powder for a delicate pink color.)
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet
Oven: 180C / 350F
Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the baking sheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.
Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from baking sheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a baking sheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.
If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones….
Traditionally, on Christmas day, I serve Blueberry-Lingonberry Soup, along with a sweet bread, eggs, and fruit. Everyone expects it, and fortunately, everyone loves chilled soups. I had some left over from Christmas, and when I read the challenge in early January, I knew that I would use the tuiles and soup together, so I set some soup aside.
(Sunset Breakfast and Brunch, 1980)
2 cups water
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cinnamon, each about 1 1/2 inches long
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (I used lime peel and juice this year)
1 1/2 cups frozen unsweetened blueberries
1 jar (14 ounces) lingonberries
Sour cream for garnish
In a saucepan, combine water, tapioca, sugar, salt, cinnamon, lemon peel, lemon juice, and blueberries. Over medium-high heat bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly; reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lingonberries and their liquid until blended. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Remove cinnamon sticks before serving. Serve cold, with a garnish of sour cream.
Makes 6 servings.