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.
Tuiles are thin crispy cookies that you can bend into shapes right as they come out of the oven, and while I was happy to see an attempt at a "lighter" baking challenge for January, I really wasn't in the mood to bake at all this month as I have no interest in eating any of it! Still trying to make up for a very festive 2008. If you're interested in any of the recipes I mention below, see the above blogs of Karen and Zorra. And so here my story goes...
I decided I'd "health-up" the Savory batter recipe by using ground Almond meal in place of flour and splenda in place of sugar. Part of the challenge was also to serve the Tuiles with a light and airy accompaniment so I chose to make a curry ginger cream with chopped celery leaves ... none of this worked out as I had planned, however.
I whipped up the savory recipe with my substitutions as noted above and the almond meal is just lumpy by nature and didn't blend with the butter so any attempts at creating a leaf shape like I had wanted flew out the whole window. "Oh well" I thought, and figured "let's just get one of these to work and I'll be done." I had wanted to make fall colored leaves and ended up with a blob of buttery almond paste. I cut pieces of parchment into squares so there'd be one per tuile - to make sliding them around for shaping easier. The peculiar batter baked and I quickly pulled out my first tuile and failed miserably trying to get it to curve around my rolling pin and circular jar I had nearby, it was a buttery mess. It broke into a few pieces so I had to start over... and I tried one of the pieces. Salt!!!!! Too much salt. Oh well, "I just need to get a picture" so I made a big blob for my 2nd tuile.
This one was a misshapen 4 or 5 inch disk and when the edges started to brown slightly (and butter seeped all over the pan since it didn't mesh with the almond..) I took it out and placed it inside of a mini fluted tart pan. I was able to create two ruffle effects in the disc and tried to shape it into a cup of sorts, for my ginger curry cream. I wasn't sure if it would ever harden but I thought it looked good enough and I'd just have to be careful when taking pictures of the finished product later. Unfortunately, later never came and I never did get that photo....
About 1 second after I took the bowl of the rest of the batter (they were so salty--and as a sidenote, I used the correct amount of kosher salt the recipe called for---I was not going to want to eat these things..) that is when The Husband walked up. All at once, he said "what did you make for me?" and grabbed hold of the parchment paper that my one lone tender and salty Tuile was resting on inside of the tart pan, and he immediately (and accidentally) broke it into at least 10 pieces. I called out in terror but it was too late... the batter bowl was filling with water in the sink. It was over!! I dumped the ginger curry cream in the sink and went to bed.
Well there's no point in crying over broken tuiles, and the next day I decided to skip my healthifying ways and make the original basic sweet recipe with no substitutions. I just wouldn't eat them!
The real flour and sugar batter came together much easier (as God intends them to!) and I even made a simple leaf stencil out of a random (cleaned) pamphlet I had laying around. After mixing the batter and chilling the pan and batter correctly, I smoothed out three leaves on three squares of parchment. As the recipe stated, I reserved some batter to mix with food coloring - I made a tablespoon of green, red, and orange - and used baggies to pipe leaf veins on top of my three batter leaves and popped them in the oven for about 6 minutes.
The thinner ones browned first but I pulled them all out and didn't have too much trouble getting them to bend, slowly at first, and twist slightly on top of my rolling pin, leaning against some other objects.
The colorful decorations even looked cute... at least... Tuiles! The Husband was out of the house so there were no worries there. I made three more tuiles in the same fashion, for photo-op purposes, and I also mixed up a filling. A lemon almond cream made with cream cheese, heavy cream, almond extract and lemon juice. I piped that out onto three of the tuiles in a rosette and topped the rosette with either triple berry jam or lemon curd.... and voila! The challenge was complete.
I quickly snapped some photos and then there was no going back, and by the time The Husband got home, it was safe for him to enter the kitchen again. He ate a few with jam and said "they're ok." I hate to be a drag but my heart wasn't into baking this month, so I am glad this challenge is over and that I actually had a finished product! Thanks for reading my silly story!