Tuiles with Avocado Chocolate Mousse
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.
To roll out the New Year, the January DB challenge incorporated the technique that I’ve been completely unaware of until now. Tuiles are wafer thin cookies are moulded when they’re still warm & come in a variety of shapes; gently or tightly rolled or folded, cornets, baskets and fortune cookies.
After December’s monster expedition (French Yule Log), I was fooled into thinking that this would be easy. I attempted making tuiles 3 times & still didn’t manage to shape them successfully. I was excited at the creative freedom that this challenge beheld; I spent a while brain storming my thoughts. I made my stencils cut out of thick plastic and opted for a butterfly, leaf & circle design.
Attempt No.1: Sweet Tuiles
My first attempt was a gluten-free one which looked better than they tasted. I substituted the wheat flour for rice, sorghum & arrowroot. This resulted in soft & slightly rubbery cookies that were undercooked – they needed to be flexible enough to manipulate & were just too brittle when baked for the full duration. I used matcha powder & beetroot juice to produce a green & a pink batter. I paired my colourful cookies with avocado chocolate mousse (which was absolutely delicious & unbelievably simple to make), and blueberry, rose & coconut mousse.
Tuiles with Blueberry & Rose Coconut Mousse
From Angélique Schmeinck “The Chocolate Book”
65 grams / ¼ cup softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams / ½ cup 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 / ½ cup sifted all purpose flour
1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet
Oven: 180C / 350F
1. 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 over mix.
2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease 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.
4. Press the stencil on the baking sheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes.
5. 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.
6. Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.
7. Immediately release from baking sheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm; you might want to bake a small amount at a time. Or place a baking sheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.
Chocolate Avocado Mousse
1 ripe avocado
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp agave nectar
Blend all the ingredients until smooth.
Attempt No. 2: Savory Tuiles
I made a second attempt of these cookies after a grueling half-day job interview/assessment. I was feeling pretty shattered & sweaty, and not in the mood to do any work. I was at my boyfriend’s so no gluten-free flour to hand. I thought I’d give it a go using conventional flour, maybe they would be easier to shape. I decided to flavour my tuiles with cumin & served them with spicy sweet potato mash. I was unsuccessful at shaping these to my requirements though they did warp in their own unpredictable way…they were lovely and crisp!
Savoury Tuiles with spicy sweet potato mash
Savory Tuile/Cornet recipe
From Thomas Keller “The French Laundry Cookbook”
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (65 grams) all purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt (2/3 teaspoon table salt)
8 tablespoons (114 grams) unsalted butter, softened but still cool to the touch
2 large egg whites, cold
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the softened butter until it is completely smooth and mayonnaise-like in texture. Using a stiff spatula or spoon, beat the egg whites into the dry ingredients until completely incorporated and smooth. Whisk in the softened butter by thirds, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary and whisking until the batter is creamy and without any lumps. Transfer the batter to a smaller container, as it will be easier to work with.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Make a 4-inch hollow circular stencil. Place Silpat on the counter (it is easier to work on the Silpat before it is put on the sheet pan). Place the stencil in one corner of the sheet and, holding the stencil flat against the Silpat, scoop some of the batter onto the back of an offset spatula and spread it in an even layer over the stencil. Then run the spatula over the entire stencil to remove any excess batter. After baking the first batch of cornets, you will be able to judge the correct thickness. You may need a little more or less batter to adjust the thickness of the cornets.
3. There should not be any holes in the batter. Lift the stencil and repeat the process to make as many rounds as you have molds or to fill the Silpat, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between the cornets. Sprinkle each cornet with a pinch of black sesame seeds.
4. Place the Silpat on a heavy baking sheet and bake for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the batter is set and you see it rippling from the heat. The cornets may have browned in some areas, but they will not be evenly browned at this point.
5. Open the oven door and place the baking sheet on the door.*** This will help keep the cornets warm as you roll them and prevent them from becoming too stiff to roll. Flip a cornet over on the sheet pan, sesame seed side down and place 4-1/2 inch cornet mold at the bottom of the round. If you are right-handed, you will want the pointed end on your left and the open end on your right. The tip of the mold should touch the lower left edge (at about 7 o’clock on a clock face) of the cornet.
6. Fold the bottom of the cornet and around the mold; it should remain on the sheet pan as you roll. Leave the cornet wrapped around the mold and continue to roll the cornets around molds; as you proceed, arrange the rolled cornets, seams side down, on the sheet pan so they lean against each other, to prevent from rolling.
7. When all the cornets are rolled, return them to the oven shelf, close the door, and bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes to set the seams and color the cornets a golden brown. If the color is uneven, stand the cornets on end for a minute or so more, until the color is even. Remove the cornets from the oven and allow to cool just slightly, 30 seconds or so.
8. Gently remove the cornets from the molds and cool for several minutes on paper towels. Remove the Silpat from the baking sheet, wipe the excess butter from it, and allow it to cool down before spreading the next batch. Store the cornets for up to 2 days (for maximum flavor) in an airtight container.
Attempt No. 3: Chestnut Tuiles
For Christmas I was the lucky recipient of The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal. It’s absolutely beautiful to look at & weighs 5.4kg; reading it is like lifting weights & I’m developing my arm muscles! I’m so glad to learn about tuiles as there are many recipes in Blumenthal’s book that use this technique. Amongst the various recipes included tuiles made from figs, strawberries, beetroot & chestnut. I opted for the chestnut tuile which was one of the very many elements from his avant-garde creation ‘Saddle of Venison’. I didn’t have any crème de marrons glacés to hand so I made my own chestnut puree, adding a tbsp of agave nectar to my pulverized chestnuts. However, my paste was too thick so my tuiles were difficult to mould, though I did manage to shape some cornets (with the aid of elastic bands…). I paired my tuiles with beetroot & carrot jelly with black sesame paste. Chestnut tuiles came out absolutely delicious, I highly recomend these!
Chestnut tuiles with – L: Black sesame paste with carrot jelly, R: beetroot jelly, carrot jelly and sesame paste
From Heston Blumenthal “ The Big Fat Duck Cookbook”
100g sweet chestnut puree (crème de marrons glacés)
15g clarified butter
15g plain flour (I used rice flour)
30g egg whites (about 1 small egg white)
fleur de sel
1. Place the chestnut puree, butter & flour in a bowl and mix until smooth.
2. In a separate bowl, lightly break up the egg white with the fleur de sel before folding in the chestnut mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hr.
3. Preheat the oven 160C/320F. place a silicon mat on a baking sheet. Using a tuile template & a spatula spread the chestnut mixture onto the mat.
4. Bake in the oven for 15minutes, turn the tray every 5 mins.
Overall, I had a brilliant time making tuiles. I’ve learnt a whole new & exciting technique that I will definately utilize in the future. There is so many different avenues to explore, the possibilities are endless!