Daring Bakers Challenge : Tuiles

It is on days like these when I’m on my 8th shift of the week, that I start to wonder about my sanity. Why do I do this to myself? Why did I pick this particular line of work, with which to bring home the bacon? Because, you know, haha, with the amount of money I’m earning, the bacon ain’t all that great! Why did I choose to work in a kitchen that feels like a furnace? Why am I working with someone who is obsessed with putting the Arctic Monkeys on repeat? Loudly.

I was thinking all these things as I drifted past the front desk of the restaurant, when the Sommelier called out, “You made a grown woman cry!”.

Hmm? What? (What have I done now?)

“A customer tonight said that the blueberry dish she had was the most amazing dessert she had ever eaten, and that it even brought a tear to her eye.”

Really? I mean, it’s not my dessert. I just work for the Pastry Chef, but to hear a compliment like that, in a place where you don’t often get feedback; it parted the grey cloud in my head like a certain bearded man had, the Red Sea. That, and the “best souffle ever” comment I got from another table that evening, left me practically skipping out the kitchen door when it was time to go home.

Ah yes, that’s why I do it. Maybe I’m not so insane afterall. Maybe all I need is the occasional reminder, that I cook because I love to feed people. Even if it’s for people I don’t know. My family have always been non-touchy-feely people. Most things, we said through food. Through the act of having a meal together. Through cooking a meal or paying for one. Food is one of the most pleasurable necessities in life, and I think we sometimes forget it, when we are worrying about being too fat or not thin enough, or whatever else that screws up rational thought.

So despite the stinking hot weather outside and the lethargy I was feeling, it was with many of the above things in my mind, that I completed January’s Daring Bakers Challenge.

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 try the savoury tuile recipe instead, because it was a recipe by Thomas Keller, that I’ve always wanted to try. Instead of making cornets as stated in the recipe below, I decided to shape them as tacos, and fill them with crab, avocado and a spicy tomato salsa. A lovely light Summer treat. Perfect perhaps, with a tall glass of bubbly. 🙂

Savory tuile/cornet :
(from The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller)

65 grams plain flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt (= 2/3 teaspoon table salt)
114 grams 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 200’C.

Make a 4-inch hollow circular stencil. Place Silpat on the counter. 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. 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.

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.

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  1. Zoë François said,

    January 31, 2009 @ 6:22 am

    Seriously brilliant! They look so incredibly tasty and absolutely gorgeous!!!

  2. Lisa said,

    January 31, 2009 @ 8:23 am

    Your taco tuiles are so cute! You work so hard, and you create such beautiful things, I love to cook but I could never be a chef with that amount of pressure. I really respect you and I’m glad you got some great feedback, you deserve it 🙂

  3. Eva said,

    January 31, 2009 @ 10:58 am

    After seeing so many amazing things coming out of your kitchen, I can really imagine such an emotional response! I’d love to try your blueberry dessert cos blueberries never seem to do it for me… but maybe I’ve never had good ones? (I like bilberries much better.)

  4. Lori said,

    January 31, 2009 @ 12:29 pm

    And skip you should! How great is that!

    I love these little taco bites. A great idea. I am thinking maybe I could make these tomorrow and fill them on Sunday for my company.

  5. retno said,

    January 31, 2009 @ 5:46 pm

    Your savaoury tuiles look so crispy and tasty. Thanks for stopping by my site 🙂

  6. gine said,

    January 31, 2009 @ 11:51 pm

    These tacos look superdelicious … yummy yummy :-)!

  7. Michelle said,

    February 1, 2009 @ 1:14 am

    Lovely savories! Such a beautiful presentation!

  8. noobcook said,

    February 2, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

    woah … so absolutely gorgeous! and how wonderful that you’re doing work that you’re passionate about! =)

  9. the caked crusader said,

    February 2, 2009 @ 11:07 pm

    very interesting indeed! I have never seen a tuile used in a savoury way!

  10. sugar chef said,

    February 3, 2009 @ 3:36 am

    Love, love, love, your tuile “tacos”. The positive feedback is really what keeps us going in an otherwise insane environment. Great post!!!

  11. Bumblebutton said,

    February 3, 2009 @ 9:24 am

    Nice when a random comment or two can turn around your day! Beautiful execution of a lovely savory tuile version. Yum!

  12. Tartelette said,

    February 3, 2009 @ 5:23 pm

    The last shot got me salivating! Yes, it is rough in there but you are passionate with just the right touch of madness which produces wonderful work and delighted patrons!

  13. Julia said,

    February 3, 2009 @ 9:53 pm

    Great job! Perfectly crisp tuiles, delicious filling selection, and of course, beautiful photography. I hope I can snap off a photo or two like that one day. I enjoy keeping up with your adventures! Thank you.

  14. Jasmine said,

    February 4, 2009 @ 2:22 am

    Love this! The filling choice not only makes for a great photo but is a great flavor combination!

  15. Diana said,

    February 4, 2009 @ 6:41 am

    They turned out so lovely! I used crab and avocado in my savory tuiles as well, what a great combination.

  16. linda said,

    February 4, 2009 @ 8:01 pm

    Love your savoury approach, wouldn’t mind biting into some of those taco’s 🙂
    You’re probably still crazy being in the line of work you’re in but the most important thing is that once in a while it makes you lighthearted by something like a compliment by a guest. I don’t think people in ‘regular’ jobs will have that feeling much.

  17. arfi said,

    February 6, 2009 @ 7:27 pm

    the most delicate paper-thin biscuits in the world and you did a great job!

  18. Jude said,

    February 7, 2009 @ 5:17 pm

    looks like the perfect amuse bouche. although i’d prefer to eat a whole tray if i could.

  19. Simona said,

    February 8, 2009 @ 6:08 am

    I was moved by your story: thanks for sharing it. And your taco-tuiles look wonderful.

  20. Jamie said,

    February 8, 2009 @ 11:52 pm

    These tuiles are gorgeous and the whole thing is beautiful!

  21. the projectivist said,

    February 10, 2009 @ 10:40 pm

    holy tapdancing elvis!
    have you been busy MsY?
    just checking you’ve not fallen into a vat of Tim Tams somewhere.
    what an awful, AWFUL way to go!

  22. Marysol said,

    February 13, 2009 @ 4:54 am

    Y, I can’t relate to the heat you’re experiencing, because I’m freezing my as I was saying off.
    But I love what you’ve done with the tuiles. The Savory Tuiles are a unique idea, and one that looks absolutely delicious.

  23. Sneh said,

    February 13, 2009 @ 9:07 am

    Well I’ll add comment #73 and a very well deserved one too! Those tuiles look oh so delicate and oh so delicious! Awesome!

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