Thursday 29 January 2009

Daring Bakers January Challenge: Tuile Biscuits

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.

I was very happy to see this months Daring Bakers challenge was tuiles – dainty and delicate wafer thin biscuits, often served as an accompaniment to desserts. They are quite an unusual biscuit as they are very thin, crisp and fragile, but when immediately out of the oven they are still soft and pliable, meaning they can be bent or shaped into pretty designs. The ‘dough’ (its really a paste) can also be piped or spread through a stencil onto baking trays as they keep their shape perfectly in the oven, meaning small designs and detail are possible.

I have make large curved shaped tuile biscuits in the past, so I was excited about trying a stenciled shape and a piped design with the paste this time. I decided to go with the suggested stencil design, of a butterfly, as the thinness of the biscuit makes for very dainty looking butterfly wings. I used a little thinned cocoa powder for the dots which I added before they went into the oven – which I think finishes them off nicely. It’s best to bake no more than 3 or 4 biscuits at any one time as they start to crisp up the minute you remove them from the oven and if you want to bend each one you have to do this while they are still hot or else they will brake.

After making a few butterflies I put the remaining paste into a piping bag and piped out small squiggles. Why? Well it just so happens that this challenge came at the perfect time. My mum celebrated a very special birthday this month and my sister and I were cooking her and her friends a special meal. I was in charge of dessert and I decided to make a trio of miniature desserts for each person – they had a choice of either a lemon or chocolate based dessert trio and the tuiles made perfect elegant accompaniments. The butterflies were balanced on the side of a lemon tart and the squiggles were the stream on a chocolate mousse I served in espresso cups to look like a coffee. So this challenge couldn’t have come at a better time and they were a hit with the guests!

Below is the recipe for the tuiles and I will be posting the dessert recipes shortly. Don’t forget to click here to see other Daring Bakers tuiles. Thanks Karen and Zorra for a great challenge choice.

Vanilla Tuiles
Recipe from The Chocolate Book by Angelique Schmeinck
65g softened butter
60g sifted icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
65g plain flour
1tbsp cocoa powder or food colouring for decoration

Preheat the oven to 180C. Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) 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 butter 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. Only put 2-4 shapes on each baking tray as they crisp up extremely quickly and you need time to shape them while still hot. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa or food dye 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 for about 5-6 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately transfer from baking sheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still hot so be quick.

If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you can 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, folded paper etc.
Makes 40 small designs or 20 larger ones


Karen Baking Soda said...

Lovely Katie, especially the squiggles on top of the mousse, very enticing!

Dharm said...

I love your butterflies! Those squiggly 'worms' on top of the mousse are great as well!!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

well done katie! these look lovely!

Lisa said...


Helene said...

Love it Katie! I did the same thing squigglies with the remaining cocoa paste. Instant decorations!
The butterflies are so delicate!

Katie said...

How pretty! The coffee cup idea is really creative! Well done this is cool.

Dewi said...

Oh, those dainty butterflies look so beautiful. You did well for this month challenge.

Anonymous said...

I love the dainty little butterfly which looks as though it's just alighted to investigate the delicious tart. Very pretty indeed, Katie!

Anonymous said...

The butterflies are perfect.

Snooky doodle said...

those butterflies are gorgeous. I can t beleive they re made of tuiles! Awesome!! I like thw squiggles too they make a dessert look so sophisticated :) well done!

Gigi said...

The butterflies are just darling! And the squiggles definitely scream! Awesome job!

Johanna GGG said...

what artistic flair!

Elle said...

Oh Katie, those are just perfect! Great idea to do the squiggles, too for the 'coffee' steam. You mum must have been so pleased, too.

Audax said...

Lovely photos the first picture I found very cute and makes me smile. You have done so well.

Engineer Baker said...

Hehe, I love the squiggles - I do that with ladyfingers all the time. Too fun.

Jenny said...

Those are lovely, and a beautiful birthday dessert!

Diana said...

Your tuiles turned out great! I love the squiggles. It's like beautiful butterflies and cute little caterpillars.

Jen D said...

Wow! your butterflies looked absolutely perfect! I'm so jealous. Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I like how you used those squiggles.. Cute!