Remember I joined the Daring Bakers earlier this month? I was very excited with the anticipation of new challenges. And then the month drew on. And on. And still I had not stopped the cupcake-a-thon to complete my first DB challenge. Then finally, this weekend I decided it was time to “just do it”.
Now, I am not faint of heart and certainly I was not scared of a little cookie even if it does have a fancy French name. But the challenge for January was to not just make Tuiles but also pair or fill them with something light. I wanted to be unique. But I procrastinated and dragged my feet until finally I decided to go easy… I filled/topped it with mousse (sounds fancy, but I cheated a little… more on that later).
The batter for the tuiles seemed easy enough. But the technique proved to be more than my patience would allow this weekend. The thing is, these cookies need to be really thin. And I chose free-hand instead of making a template. What I learned: a piping bag full of batter + an impatient hand = not-quite-thin-enough tuiles. They were still good, just not quite crispy.
If I was feeling impatient, then why did I make 2 kinds? Am I really that much of an overachiever? (shoosh you in the peanut gallery) No. This was not a case of overachieving. Instead it was a case of not fully reading the instructions before starting to make the batter. I was cruising along, adding ingredients as I read down the page. Then I got to this line: 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…
So I wasn’t supposed to mix the cocoa into all of the batter? At that moment I could hear my high school English teacher reminding us that we should always read all of the instructions first. Shows how well I listened.
That is how I wound up with chocolate tuiles. Realizing my faux pas I chose to make another more normal batter because this is my first month of Daring Bakers and I wanted it to feel legit. And víola, I had 2 kinds of almost-tuiles.
Now as for the filling. I originally had imagined making a granita or some-kind-of-awesomeness which I never quite thought of. But granita takes time and you have to remember to go stir it (sounds hard, right? no, not really. but I was feeling lazy this weekend). So I took a look in the fridge and found 1/2 a pint of heavy whipping cream and somehow I arrived at mousse. I’ve never made mousse before but it sounded reasonably easy — that is, before I looked up recipes. None of them were really hard but they all had more than 3 ingredients (did I mention I was feeling lazy this weekend?). So I read some recipes and got the gist of what they were saying: pudding or custard + whipped cream = mousse. Now that, I could do. I made 2 kinds: lemon and chocolate. To be absolutely honest, the mousse was my favorite part… especially the lemon. But maybe that is because I did not quite make proper tuiles (for example, had my tuiles turned out as delicious sounding as Clumbsy Cookie’s tiramisu flutes maybe I would have enjoyed the actual tuile more). Be sure to check out some of the other tuiles (some are really amazing and creative!) from the other Daring Bakers.
Here are the recipes I used…
lazy girl mousse
1 cup heavy whipping cream
dash of vanilla extract (about 1 tsp)
a smattering of confectioners’ sugar (about 1 tbsp)
a dollop (2 tbsp maybe?) of store bought lemon curd
a dollop of pre-made chocolate pudding
1. In a mixer with whisk attachment, whip the cream, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form (aka make whipped cream).
2. Divide the whipped cream into 2 bowls. In the first bowl, fold in the lemon curd. In the second bowl, fold in the chocolate pudding.
3. (optional) Spoon the mousse into piping bags fitted with a fancy tip to make it look like you worked really hard ;)
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.
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….
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.