After the delicious and rich December challenge of chocolate and coconut French Yule Log, January's challenge was almost like a much needed detox! We've known the Daring Bakers' challenges to be rich, lush and delicious in the past but trust me this month's challenge was for me - God sent!
This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They chose Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.
All this month Tom and I have been really cutting back on heavy and rich foods and sweets. We've been good too and I have learned that I can control my sweet cravings, which initially I thought was unthinkable! So, when the two girls announced the January challenge of Tuiles I thought this is really awesome.
The mission was quite simple we had to use one of the batters given, shape it and pair it with something light like a fruit, sorbet, a mousse, or a fruit soup. We also had the choice of making nougatine, chocolate or savory tuiles. I knew almost from the beginning what flavor my tuiles would have and how I would pair it.
I decided to go for delicate flavors of lemon and honey. My tuiles included the aromatic zest of organic lemon and I decided to pair it with a honey ice-cream. I was excited as I found lovely chestnut tree honey at my organic store and instantly decided to use this for the ice-cream.
Not going too over the top, I kept everything as light and simple as I possibly could. I love tuiles and always am wowed by the extravagant shapes one sees in patisseries or when served in restaurants, however, I always found a delicate charm in the simple thinly shaped circles.
I had to do a tiny bit of tweaking to the original recipe as when I mixed the batter I found the consistency not quite right for spreading. I added an extra egg white and substituted the confectioner's sugar for fine grained sugar. Instead of the vanilla extract or sugar I used lemon zest.
You can view the original recipe for the tuiles by Angélique Schmeink, I have included the recipe with my tweaks for the lemon tuiles in this post. If you can get your hands on them, Meyer lemons would be just perfect for these tuiles. They are less tart and have a more floral aroma. You can also substitute mandarin or tangerine zest for another gorgeous tuile flavor.
Recipe: Lemon Tuiles
Printable version of recipe here.
Makes approx. 40 tuiles
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and warm
60 g all-purpose flour
100g fine grained sugar
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Good pinch fleur de sel
- Start by pre-heating the oven to 150 degrees C and placing a rack in the center of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone mats and lightly butter them.
- In a small bowl beat all of the ingredients together with a balloon whisk until everything is well incorporated. The batter should be thin and runny but still spreadable almost like a thin porridge.
- Using a teaspoon drop some batter onto the silicone mat about 5 cms apart. Make sure you are only preparing one baking sheet at a time.
- With a offset spatula or the back of the teaspoon spread the batter into rounds or ovals.
- Bake the tuiles until they are golden brown around the edges but still pale in the center - about 10-15 minutes. Mine were perfect after 10 minutes. Please make sure you watch them after about 5 minutes into the baking time carefully.
- If the tuiles are not baked long enough, they will not become crisp when cooled.
- Remove the tray from the oven and as soon as you can , gently coax a metal spatula under the cookie without breaking it. At this point you can shape the tuiles any way you want to. I draped them on a rolling/bottle of wine for the arched shape. You'll have to work fast as they begin to harden and get crisp quit quickly.
- Repeat the process until you have used, baked and shaped all of the tuiles.
Tuiles tips and tricks:
- I personally find using silicone mats the best for tuiles. You can use baking paper or even foil, but I have not always had the best of results with them. If you are using foil make sure you use the dull side and really flatten out all creases. If you do not, the tuiles batter will seep into them and you will not be able to loosen them easily after baking. With baking paper I found that the batter runs more easily, not giving perfect rounds or oval. The slightly roughness of the silicone mats keeps the batter where it's supposed to be and makes loosening the baked tuiles with the spatula a lot easier.
- The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week, however they really are best when enjoyed on the same day, when they are their crispiest.
- Even a tiny bit too much flour could result in thick and tough rather than a thin and crisp tuile so it is vital that the flour is measured accurately. I would actually advice not putting in the entire amount straight away, instead remove 2-3 tablespoons from the given amount and then add the remaining after checking the consistency.
- The lemon tuiles are a perfect partner to Chestnut Tree Honey Ice-Cream
My pairing of choice for the lemon tuiles was a heavenly honey ice-cream. It's an ice-cream flavor I absolutely adore and have made it using all kinds of different flavored honey - lavender, eucalyptus, heather, clover - whatever you have. My honey flavor this time was chestnut. It's a strong, aromatic and intensely flavored honey. In my opinion perfect for mousses, sorbets or ice-creams. Mixed with the rich creaminess of cream and milk this ice-cream reminds me of the simple warm honey milk my mum used to make for us when we were growing up.
The slight tanginess of the lemon tuiles is absolutely the perfect partner for the honey ice-cream. You'll see that you won't be able to resist eating too much of this!
Recipe: Chestnut Tree Honey Ice-Cream
Printable version of recipe here.
450 g heavy cream
240 ml whole cup
170 g chestnut honey. Search no more! Buy the chestnut tree honey! (or use your favorite honey)
- In saucepan mix all of the ingredients gently until the honey has dissolved.
- Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow to come to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Take out of the refrigerator and stir the mixture again to blend.
- Transfer to an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Serve as it is or if you prefer, transfer to a box and freeze for a few hours then serve.
Serving tips: I adore serving this ice-cream with berries. The berries I froze last summer are perfect for this. Take a handful and place in a bowl suitable for the microwave. Turn microwave on and warm for just a short period until berries are warm and soft. Pour over the ice-cream - heaven! You can use blueberries, raspberries or blackberries - these were really best with the ice-cream. You do not need a huge amount per serving just a few, as the berries are tart you do not want them to overpower the honey flavor of the ice-cream.
The ice cream is perfect with Lemon Tuiles.
I loved the freedom of this challenge. To some it might not seem like a challenge, but I would like to digress. I find the quintessence of the group is not always trying to find a recipe with the highest degree of difficulty but to allow us to challenge ourselves with the flexibility allowed within the recipe. It's this inspiration that teaches me to be innovative and challenges my creativity to go beyond my comfort zone. After all anyone can follow a recipe rigidly. Then you only have two outcomes - it works or it does not!
The tuiles were light, delicate and crisp. I loved the lemon flavoring in this. The honey ice-cream has always been a favorite but we really liked the paring with the lemon flavored tuiles.
Would I make this again?
I have made tuiles on a few occasions in the past. However, I had forgotten how grandly they add to desserts. As I was making these I began thinking up several other flavor varieties everything from chili chocolate to sumac and tahini!! I think in the future I will experiment a little more with these flavors.
What did I learn from this challenge?
That flexibility gives you wings to be creative and find new pairing ideas!
A huge thank you to Karen and Zorra for lovely, light and sensational challenge. Please do visit all my fellow Daring Bakers for their versions of this challenge.
More Daring Baker Challenges from WFLH:
|Tangy Lemon Meringue Pie||Strawberry Mirror Cake||Perfect Party Cake|
The current mingle is in full swing and my guest hostess this month is Michelle of What's Cooking Blog. The theme this month is Healthy Family Dinners and we've been getting a few fantastic submissions already.
If you want to join us for the fun all you need to do is send us your entry by 9 February 2009. We're looking forward to it!
Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:
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