Thursday, 29 January 2009
A lesson in French Tiles - Daring Bakers
It's Daring Bakers time again! First Daring Baker's challenge for 2009. I actually contemplated sitting this one out because time is just getting harder and harder to come by. Thankfully though, I squeezed it in Just Under The Wire!! Yes, I made these on the 27th morning (Thanks to the Chinese New Year holidays) and with the posting date on the 29th, I really made these at the last minute!
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.
So what is a Tuile? It comes from the French and means a 'tile'. It's basically a light, dry cookie and the name is the reference to the classic tuile which is shaped around a dowel to look like a curved tile. For those of you keen to know how to pronounce these little things, apparently they are pronounced "Tweel". But I'm not French and I dont speak it either, so don't take my word for it.
These were a lot of fun to make and not terribly difficult. What I really liked about this challenge was that if not for the fact that it was a DB challenge, I would never have attempted to make these. I suppose that sums up a lot of the DB challenges - it makes us attempt things that we would normally never do!
The hardest bit about the Tuiles was spreading them thinly enough. I didn't use stencils and just simply spread the batter as thinly as I could and then rolled them up into cigar shapes.
I did try and make a butterfly by piping out some batter and then spreading it out thinly but I guess the butterfly didn't quite look as it should have. My daughter was pleased with it though and thought it was wonderful!
I paired this with Strawberries and Cream and the kids were very, very excited when I brought the dessert out and asked them to pose with it.
To say it was a hit with the children would be an understatement. They thoroughly enjoyed it and my son wanted to know what those "nice, rolled, up crunchy things" were called. Good thing I had checked on the pronunciation eh! They attacked it like there was no tomorrow...
... and then promptly proceeded to devour the entire dish! This was after lunch and here I was thinking that it could last for dessert after dinner. WRONG!
This was an extremely satisfying challenge as not only did I get to do something new but it was something that the children absolutely adored and to me, that's a winning challenge! So thankyou so very much Karen and Zorra!
Watch out for next months challenge which is being hosted by my lovely friend, Wendy and I am privileged to be Co-Hosting with here! Stay Tuned for February!!
Following is the 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.
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….