Wednesday, January 28, 2009
January Daring Bakers: Light as Can Be
So I guess it's no coincidence that the Daring Bakers challenge I chose to skip - last month's French yule log - was a whole heck of a lot more complicated than this month's challenge, which I did indeed complete.
While the seven components of last month's challenge were tempting, in the end I just couldn't manage to deal with all that cream, butter, baking, freezing, etc., etc., especially while on vacation. January's challenge, though, was a breath of fresh air in the complexity department. Now, as per new DB rules, the next few lines must be included in my post:
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.
So there you have it, tuiles. Tuiles are very thin, wafer-like cookies that are baked and then shaped while still warm. Traditionally, they are molded on top of a rolling pin or rolled into cigar shapes, and they pair perfectly with ice cream or some other rich adornment.
I followed the recipe for basic tuiles almost to the letter, but added a dash of almond extract along with vanilla because light, egg white-based cookies just scream almond to me. My other variation was that I chose to use whole-wheat pastry flour in place of the all-purpose.
Although the cookies tasted quite good, the texture wasn't quite right, most likely because of the whole wheat flour (I anticipated this problem, but still wanted to try out the whole wheat). Instead of molding easily fresh from the oven, my cookies were a bit more resistant to shaping, and the edges were a bit crackly. Nonetheless, I still managed to make just enough cigar shapes for my mini-photo shoot (and the rest were not paper-thin tuiles, but rather thick and delightfully chewy almond-scented cookies).
I paired the tuiles with a grapefruit curd, which, in the end, turned out more like sauce than curd. Let's just say textures weren't my forte in this little baking experiment. Tastes though, were spot on. I made a cream appropriate for filling my cigar-tuiles by mixing the sweet curd with some whipped cottage cheese, which added a nice bit of body to the cookies.
All in all, the tuiles were tasty and fun to eat; I'm not sure I have the patience to make them paper thin though, and would just as soon make the batter into drop cookies. They are nowhere near as elegant as some of the other Daring Bakers' creations, but I dare you to tell me they don't taste damn good with some ice cream of sweet cheese slathered on them.
A wispy challenge come and gone; let's see what February will bring!