Thursday, January 29, 2009
Tuile We Meet Again...in the Springtime?
I was finally waking up from the sugar induced haze of the holidays when I heard what this month's Daring Baker's Challenge was - tuiles. Boy, was I pleased.
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 are thin, crisp cookies, normally with a lace like texture. The name 'tuile' comes from their traditional curved shape that resembles the roofing tiles once used in France. We were given a choice of two batters (a Dutch version or the traditional French recipe). The stipulations were that we must shape them and pair it with something "light."
Well, seeing as I received a beautiful ice cream maker for Christmas, I thought there would be no better way of christening it than with this challenge. So, I would be shaping my tuile into a cone. Although, I couldn't just leave it at that - this was for the Daring Bakers after all. I tinted part of the batter into three different pastel colours. I used the dyed batter to create a plaid design on the ice cream cone.
I had no problems deciding on the flavour of ice cream. And while lavender Riesling ice cream may not necessarily be so light on the calories, it is light in flavour. I felt that the finished challenge definitely evoked a feeling of springtime - something I am sure all of us could use during the middle of this deep freeze.
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 / 2.3 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.