So this is my first experience with Daring Bakers. I have been watching Daring Bakers posts pop up over the last few years and thought it was finally time to join the fray.
This month's challenge was to make tuiles from the provided recipe and pair them with something light. The recipe suggested that the tuiles could be decorated with a little batter that was colored with a "food coloring of my choice". So I pulled out some beet powder and made a pink batter to provide contrast. I prepared a leaf-shaped batch and a batch of "twirlies". I had never really attempted tuiles before, so this was a great kick in the pants to give them a try.
I paired the tuiles with a buttermilk panna cotta and pomegranate gelee. I made the gels in little 1/4 cup ramekins. I used some pomegranate seeds for garnish.
What is wonderful about tuiles is their lightness and delicacy. They taste of butter and sugar and that's about it. If you add a flavoring like vanilla or a fruit liqueur, it will be a major component of the cookie's flavor, so use good quality flavors.
Here's the tuile recipe I used for the challenge. It's taken from a book called “The Chocolate Book”, written by female Dutch Master chef Angélique Schmeinck.
Buttermilk Panna Cotta (from Claudia Fleming)
Makes about 6 full servings, a lot more if you are making layered desserts (for this challenge, I made a half recipe and ended up with 10 gels total)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin (about half an envelope, but measure directly)
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch salt
Pour the hot mixture into the remaining 1 1/2 cups buttermilk. Stir to combine. Pour the panna cotta into molds or serving dishes. Put in refrigerator to set.
The panna cotta is ready to serve when it has set, about 2-3 hours. To unmold, if desired, dip the molds into warm water to loosen. Or run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the mold to loosen and release the panna cotta.
Makes 2-4 servings
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 2 - 4 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet your juice is)
Pour into molds or serving dishes. Let rest in refrigerator to set, about 2-3 hours. To unmold, if desired, dip the molds into warm water to loosen. Or run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the mold to loosen and release the gelatin.
About 10-20 cookies, depending on the size
- 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter (make sure it is very soft, but not melty and greasy)
- 1/2 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 2 large egg whites, whisked
- 1/2 cup ounces sifted all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice (I used beet powder)
Cream butter, sugar, salt and vanilla to a paste using a hand mixer. With the mixer on low, slowly add the egg whites. Make sure the mixture is homogeneous - no clumps of butter should be visible. Add the flour slowly until the batter is smooth. Take a large spoonful of batter, and in a separate bowl, blend in the food coloring you are using. Chill the batters, covered, for at least 30 minutes. You can make the batter a day or so ahead, just take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before you make the cookies.
To form the cookies you'll need a stencil (made out of a yogurt lid or some other stiff plastic) or you can pipe the dough directly onto the baking sheet. If you're using a stencil, just lay it on the baking sheet and use a spatula to spread the dough within the stencil. Lift the stencil, place it on an empty area on the sheet and repeat spreading the batter. You'll probably get about 6 cookies per sheet. Until you're used to forming the tuiles, only do one sheet at a time.
If you are using the piping method, you can just put the batter into a ziploc bag and squeeze strips of batter out on the baking sheet.
Decorate the tuiles with the colored batter. You can use a piping bag or a ziploc with a small hole cut in it.
Bake the tuiles in a preheated oven for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Lift the cookies off the baking sheet and gently curve them over a rolling pin of bottle to shape them. To make my twirlies, I wrapped the piped cookies around a spoon handle.