28 January 2009

a tuile i can live with •

They call it The Daring Bakers. Maybe they should have come up with different monikers. Number One: the Daring Baker, where the ingredients and photos seduce you, tempting your baking expertise. Second comes the Desperate Baker, when those same ingredients taunt you, and your photos don’t look like the cookbook’s. Next, comes the Dizzy Baker, when you are running out of time and that recipe maliciously giggles at you. Last: the Determined Baker — where you give that recipe one last try, I mean it! *Update - Four more; the Depressed Baker (courtesy of Aparna) and the Drained Baker (suggested by Jenny)  the Demented Baker (by Esther) and the Dreamer (Alana)!

Having made tuiles before and having no problems, I became the Determined Baker with this recipe. It was not a pretty sight. The first attempt there was a typo on the original recipe. The second attempt I made the tuiles bigger and did not bake them long enough. My husband told me to “Give it up!” “Excuse, me?” Them’s fightin’ words, bub! I persevered and finally got a tuile that I could live with. My husband is another matter. He looked at them and suggested I keep my day job. Not really...he knows that complimenting the cook is the way to keep getting fed around this house.

The Daring Bakers January Challenge •

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. We were to pair them with something light; fruit, sorbet, mousse, etc. I decided to mix 4 ounces of cream cheese (softened) with 1/2 cup of lemon curd for a dip/spread. It was delicious!

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) I used orange 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
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….