This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Baking Soda 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 a wee bit sad at first, knowing the baking reputations these two lovely Europeans have, but was happy nonetheless to tackle the recipe, as I had never tried tuiles before :)
The whole bit of choosing this recipe for January was to help those who need some waistline mending following the December holidays. Amen! I personally can't actually diet, but eating healthy is very important these days, so I was glad to take on the challenge. We were asked to make our tuiles in any shape we desired, and pair with a light, healthy filling.
I made small baskets out of mine, simply pushing the hot round cookies into my tiny brioche molds to set. Taking advantage of the fact that the grocer actually had some plump tasty strawberries in the dead of winter, I used these tuile cups to serve up one of my favorite combos - fresh strawberries with a reduced balsamic vinegar.
Oh, mmmm - the tart and sweet and yet Terribly Healthy in a crisp cookie was just perfect. The balsamic reduction was compliments of Trader Joe's (one of several foodie Christmas gifts from my amazing sis Anne), so no recipe to follow unfortunately. Sorry for that. You can surf the Interwebs to find many a recipe though, I am sure.
Thanks to both Karen and Zorra for the recipe - I rather liked it, and will probably give these little light cookies a go again (and probably again). And as always - be sure to check out those other Daring Baker creations out there!
(from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeinck, 1993)
1/4 c.softened butter (not melted but soft)
1/2 c. sifted confectioner’s sugar
Dash of vanilla extract
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
1/2 c. sifted all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
Butter or spray to grease baking sheet
Preheat the oven to 350 F. 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 offset 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 (I totally skipped the cocoa-colored decorative bit myself).
Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (350 F) 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.
Or: place a baking sheet 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….