After an absence of two months from the Daring Bakers, due to the demands of a newborn baby, I was looking forward to trying the January challenge of tuiles.
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.
Traditionally, tuiles are thin, crisp almond cookies that are moulded over a rolling pin while still warm. And, as noted by Karen and Zorra, the challenge was more about technique than baking a recipe. Sadly, I have to report that this was the first Daring Bakers challenge that I failed. My tuiles would not mould. The first batch turned out too thick and were like underbaked cakes. I made the second batch thinner, so they were easier to mould but were too small to hold their shape properly. So, in desperation, I made huge circles for the last batch. These were large enough to mould into a basket shape but they did not have the crispness I expected and so would not hold their shape.
The recipe was straightforward: creaming butter, icing sugar and vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract), adding two eggwhites and some flour and mixing to a nice, smooth batter. This batter was cooled in the fridge for 30 minutes and then spread onto baking trays in shapes: Karen and Zorra suggested using a stencil to make butterflies or some other shape, or simply moulding the warm tuiles over upended glasses, a rolling pin, broom handle or anything else handy that came to mind. My plan was to mould mine over a rolling pin so that I could make small baskets. I had a delicately spiced chocolate mousse recipe all ready to make so that I could pipe this into the baskets. However, the plan did not quite go to plan. Not only did the tuiles not mould properly, but Adam discovered the box full of my misshapen tuiles and ate them all before I could even get photos! I had planned to still make the mousse and just decorate it with shards of tuiles but alas! I have nothing to show for my efforts this month!
Despite the tuiles not moulding properly, the actual biscuit itself was delicious, with a smooth texture and sweet aftertaste. I found that the texture was like an underbaked pikelet, whereas I expected it to be crisp, like a biscotti. I thought perhaps I had made the tuiles too thick, but I only used a teaspoon of batter for each one and couldn't have spread them much thinner than I did. I should try this recipe again to see if I can get them to work properly. I'll be interested to read posts by other Daring Bakers to see if anyone else encountered the same problem. Thanks to Karen and Zorra for choosing this month's recipe. I liked the thought of tuiles and I think the fault is my technique rather than the recipe.