For January's Daring Bakers' challenge, hostesses Karen (aka Baking Soda) of Bake My Day! and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte inspired us to do something light. And what could be lighter than tuiles? Tuiles are wafer thin butter cookies. Our only requirements for this challenge were to make at least one of the tuile recipes they provided us (vanilla, chocolate, nougatine, or savory), shape it any way we like and pair our tuiles with something light and refreshing.
Tuiles are traditionally molded over a rolling pin while still hot from the oven to create an arched shape that resembles curved French roof tiles hence the name "tuile". The key to making tuiles is spreading the batter just right. It shouldn't be too thick or too thin. Too thick and they will bake up chewy. Delicious but chewy. Too thin and they will be too brittle to shape or not sturdy enough to be used as a vessel (like a bowl or cone/cornet). But I would err on the side of too thin because I prefer a light, almost see through quality, especially if I'm shaping the tuiles the traditional way.
To create 4-inch round tuiles, I cut a paper plate to make a template. Getting the thickness correct took some trial and error. My first 2 batches were too thick and my next two batches were too thin. Even though I eventually got the desired thickness, I still couldn't shape my tuiles into small bowls like I wanted. So I ended up with shallow ruffled wafers. They were still quite pretty but not what I originally planned.
I wanted to pair my tuiles with a fruit sorbet but I didn't have time to make my own sorbet. Instead, I topped my tuiles with a few frozen raspberries and I dusted them with just a bit of powdered sugar. When the raspberries thaw just a little bit, they taste just like sorbet. It was a perfect accompaniment to the tuiles.
(Recipe from “The Chocolate Book” by 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 / 1/4 cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.1 ounces confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of pure 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 (optional)
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.
The fine print:
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.