Wednesday, January 28, 2009
A Pile of Tuiles (tiles)
So this is my first official month as a Daring Baker. What, pray tell, is that? Well, it is mostly bloggers, a few strays, all foodies, many bakers, well over 1000 of us in all. We are a secret society (love that term), and we log into a cyber kitchen every month where the secret recipe is revealed. You have the whole month to plan your baking strategy, following the recipe as written. Then on reveal day, which is today, thousands of food bloggers are posting their creations.
This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux. Tuiles translates from French as tiles, and they are generally formed as an oval and then shaped to a gentle curve to mimic the roofing tiles seen in France. Our challenge was to bake them, but we could use any shape. I have seen plenty of ovals, flowers and butterflies, but I chose hearts since the big Valentine's Day is right around the corner.
The recipe was actually very easy to prepare. The toughest part was cutting out that heart on heavy plastic with an Exacto knife!
It took a few tries to evenly spread the batter, and it was fun to experiment with the chocolate batter as decoration. All of the chocolate you see is actually baked into the tuile. Some bakers chose to use a color instead of chocolate, I love creative cooks! I chose not to make ice cream garnish on the coldest day of the year...brrr. So I used my favorite Blood Orange Gelato.
I tasted one of the first cookies and had a deja vu, but I just couldn't place the taste. Christina came home, took one bite and declared, "Fortune Cookies"! She's right. How fun to make them as such, the recipe would be perfect. You make them as a circle and fold them in half and then over the rim of a glass. I made them probably 18 years ago....a fun project. I would be much better at them now!
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 / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
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 bakingsheet 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 bakingsheet 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 bakingsheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.
So there you go, be daring yourself! Give 'em a try, just get in there and cook!