After finishing off 2008 with a complex and calorie laden dessert, the Daring Bakers decided to lighten things up for the start of the new year. The first challenge of '09 was to make Tuiles, the light, thin cookies you often see shaped into curves, or cones and filled with a sweet treat like chocolate mousse or cream. Tuiles can also be savory as in Thomas Keller's classic savory salmon tartar cornets - savory tuiles filled with a salmon mousse that look like an ice cream cone.
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.
I opted to stick with the basic sweet version, and copied the idea posted in the challenge, to make my tuiles shaped as butterflies, because I knew H would like butterfly cookies. You can make any shape you can make a stencil for, and you can make the stencil out of almost anything. You want to keep it quite thin however, maybe a 1/16th of an inch. I used a piece of thin, stiff cardboard, and cut the butterfly shape out of it. When you are are ready to make the cookies, use an offset spatula to smear the dough across your stencil, lift the stencil up and reuse it for the next cookie.
We had the pleasure of serving these cookies alongside some wonderful mini lemon souffles that our good friend (and great cook) Cat brought over. I had made lemon cream from the Tartine cookbook to go with the tuiles, so the meyer lemon souffles Cat made were a perfect addition. It ended up being a great dessert that topped off a wonderful meal (I'll be blogging that soon!).
Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)
Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch
65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet
Oven: 180C / 350F
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 off sided 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.
Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) 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.