Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daring Bakers: Savory Tuiles

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. After two busy months of holidays and adjusting to my new job, I finally made time to get back to my Daring Bakers for January. And I was so glad I did, because it was a recipe I'd attempted before but had yet to master!

This month's hosts gave us a lot of flexibility with the recipes, and I chose an alternative savory tuiles from Thomas Keller. The French Laundry version is shaped into cone-like cornets, but since I didn't have molds I used a little creativity to shape mine. For a light topping I made a smoked salmon mouse with creme fraiche, lemon, dill, and smoked salmon. I sprinkled minced shallots on top for extra flavor. The tuiles were buttery and delicious, with some sweetness to balance out the salty salmon. I would love to experiment more with shaping the final produce, but the taste was spot-on! My only regret was making them for just Joe and myself, because then we were forced to eat them all!

Below is the original recipe, but feel free to shape the tuiles however you want. Also, check out all the other Daring Bakers to see how they were inspired!

Savory Tuile/Cornet Recipe
From Thomas Keller's French Laundry Cookbook

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (65 grams/2.1/4 ounces) all purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt (= 2/3 teaspoon table salt)
8 tablespoons (114 grams/4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened but still cool to the touch
2 large egg whites, cold
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

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.

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.

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.

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. Open the oven door and place the baking sheet on the door.
(At this point I did my own thing. I cooked them about 3 minutes longer, then took them out and shaped them into little cups using ramekins as my mold. Then I just let them cool, and filled them up!)

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. 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.

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. 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.

My stencil was a file folder that I cut a circle out of. Quick, cheap, and totally disposable.
It was hard to get the dough spread evenly! I used a spoon to spread it, then a
spatula to smooth it out.

I only had four ramekins to shape the tuiles, so I did the rest as flat crackers, which were just as tasty and much easier to make!


Joelen said...

Great job Erin! They look delicious and I love how you made the remaining batter as crackers!

Sarah said...

Oh, I love your version of these!!

Dharm said...

Great Job! Love the photo of you spreading out the batter. Nothing like an action photo!

Jenny said...

This is such a great variation on the challenge... These look like perfect appetizers. Great work!

Maria said...

Gorgeous tuiles. The perfect little appetizers!

Claire said...

Yum! I think savory was the way to go.

Proud Italian Cook said...

I think your tuiles look crispy, savory and fantastic Erin! Hope you and Joe are feeling so much better!

Liliana said...

Your tuiles look so delicious. You did a wonderful job!

Nicole said...

How totally adorable! I love these and the salmon mouse sounds great. I don't think I have ever had a tuiles, sweet or savory. I should definitely try this. I like the free form look. Muffin tins would work too don't you think?