January 29, 2009

Tuile, or No Tuile, That's the Question! Daring Baker Challenge January 2009


It's the end of another month, we've (as in the Daring Bakers) have been set yet another challenge and now you see the results this challenge has produced in kitchens from every part (well almost) of the world!

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.

Our challenge this month was to make at least one version (or all three, if we were upto it) of tuiles along with a simple and light accompaniment of our choice. We had to follow the recipe for making tuiles but were otherwise free to flavour, shape and serve our tuiles as we wished.




So, what is a tuile? That's what I asked myself.
A tuile (from the French word for tile) is a thin, crisp and light cookie which was traditionally shaped to resemble slightly curved roofing tiles. This cookie is made by spreading the batter as thin as possible and then baking it. It is then placed over a slightly curved surface (a bottle on its side will do) while still warm and it will cool to take that shape. Tuile cookies can also be moulded into fortune cookies, little cups or flowers or rolled into cylinders and be made in a variety of flavours, both sweet and savoury.
Tuiles can be used to decorate desserts or serve frozen desserts, mousse or even as delicate mini-tart cases.


My tuile making adventure:

Armed with all this knowledge and having referred to the a lot of pictures, I had plans to shape my tuiles so many different ways. Unfortunately, my plans remained just that. Plans!
Ever heard of the straw that broke the camel's back? Well, this challenge was the straw to my camel!! This challenge brought to me down to my knees, not just figuratively but literally. But do read on.

Having had some success with doing an almost egg free challenge last month, I decided to do the same with this month's challenge too. I discovered a great post on VeganYumYum with a step-by-step tutorial and some wonderful pictures to make eggless tuiles.
I halved her recipe as I didn't want to waste stuff in case my tuiles didn't turn out right. In retrospect this was a great idea!
I made some stencils out of party paper plates, and just followed the recipe and instructions to the last letter. Looking through the glass window of my oven, I could see my tuiles bubbling and a sort of oily separation on top. After the stipulated baking time, I took the tuiles out. I let them cool a bit and tried lifting one tuile off the cookie tray. It just tore!
So I let the others cool a little bit more. This time when I tried taking the tuiles off the tray, they broke!! And that was the end of that batch of batter and my patience.

A week later, I thought it wasn't quite Daring Bakerish to give up so easily. After all, other DBs were turning out beautiful tuiles, even those who used the recipe I did reported success.
So I made another half batch of tuile batter and set to work. This time, they came out just right. My tuiles looked so pretty and they behaved so perfectly. Until I started to shape them, that is. Every time I tried to shape them, all I ended up with were broken pieces of tuile! This wasn't fair!! Where were the tuile "Gods" when I needed them? AWOL obviously!!
Since I couldn't bring myself to throw away the little bit of leftover batter so I stuck it in the fridge.

Then last weekend, I remembered that batter and decided to give it one last attempt. There was just enough batter to make 4 tuiles. I added cocoa powder to about 2 tbsps of the batter and used that to decorate my round tuiles. They baked perfectly and I actually managed to shape them into the traditional tile shape. I decided not to get adventurous with shaping as there was very little batter. This was definitely not the time for experimenting.
I couldn't believe I had done it! I had finally made the tuiles!
Now I don't know why, but I had a feeling that I ought to take pictures of my tuiles before doing anything else and it turned out to be a good thing that I did.

We were having fruit salad with custard (eggless, made with custard powder) and I thought I could serve it in the tuiles. That's when disaster struck again! The box of tuiles slipped out of my hand and landed on the floor, with the lid intact. I told you this challenge had me on my knees, didn't I?

I opened the box to find my tuiles in little pieces. So I just chucked the stuff into the bin and we had a thoroughly enjoyable dessert minus the tuiles. Of course, unlike those legal cases which get thrown out of court due to lack of evidence (that's what comes from spending a lot of your younger years reading Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason among other books), I at least have my pictures to prove I made those tuiles.

According to Stephanie Jaworski (Joy of Baking), in her Tuile recipe post, her cooking instructor told her that the test of a perfect thin tuile is to drop one to the floor, after it has baked and cooled. If the cookie shatters into small pieces it is thin enough.
So I guess my tuiles made the grade even though they didn't make to the plate.


I still couldn't bring myself to admit that this challenge got the better of me. So I decided to make the chocolate tuiles. Tempering chocolate was something I had done many times before. Not that having done something many times before guarantees you success in a DB challenge, as many experienced and seasoned DBs will tell you.

I followed the instructions but used half and half of semi-sweet and milk chocolates to make the tuiles. Instead of using stencils, I spread the melted chocolate-toasted almond sliver mixture into circles on aluminium foil squares with a spoon. When the chocolate had cooled a bit, I draped each chocolate covered aluminium foil square over a greased bowl to shape the chocolate into bowls.

Strawberry Kulfi graced these chocolate tuile bowls, garnished with chopped pistachios. (The kulfi in my picture had started melting!)
Kulfi is a traditional eggless Indian ice-cream made of sweetened and thickened milk usually flavoured with cardamom, saffron and nuts and sometimes fruit. Kulfi can also be made with condensed milk but I find this too sweet.
Traditional kulfi does not use any thickening agent and is made by simmering and reducing full fat milk which gives this ice-cream its creamy texture and characteristic milky taste. Reducing milk takes a lot of time and I have used cornstarch here as a short cut but the traditional method gives you the best tasting kulfi.



My recipe for the Strawberry Kulfi:

Ingredients:

500ml milk (I used 3% fat)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup strawberry coulis*
1 tsp vanilla extract


Method:

*Strawberry Coulis (I haven't specified quantities, as you can proceed according your taste):

Mix hulled and chopped strawberries well with sugar, a tsp or two lemon juice and 1/4 tsp salt. Keep aside for 30 minutes. Now puree the strawberries into a smooth mixture. Put this mixture in a pan and cook on medium heat (about 2 minutes) till it thickens slightly into a sauce. Add some vanilla extract and mix well. Cool and refrigerate. Use within 3 or 4 days.
To make the Kulfi:
Keep aside 1/4 cup of milk and heat the rest and sugar till it boils. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Dissolve the cornstarch in the 1/4 cup cold milk and add to the simmering milk stirring constantly to ensure no lumps are formed. Take the milk custard off the heat and cool a bit. Add the vanilla and strawberry coulis and blend well.
Pour into a plastic or metal container and freeze. The kulfi should not freeze very hard but should have the consistency of a gelato.



Verdict:
I don't really qualify to give an opinion this time. We did, however, taste the broken pieces and didn't find them quite to tour taste. I found the tuiles too buttery to be enjoyable.
As for the chocolate tuile, I'm not sure it is a tuile but more of thin slab of choclate with slivered almonds. We love chocolate so of course, we liked it.

Please do not let my sob story dissuade you from taking a look at the creative tuiles in Daring Bakerdom.



63 comments:

Raaga said...

hmmm... they look so pretty. I was thinking of making strawberry kulfi before the season is over. I will use milkmaid though :-)

I feel bad reading about the jar slipping and falling... but the nice bit... is that you did it.

P.S. Nice coincidence... the title of your post and the piece I sent you today :-)

Rajani said...

aparna, i bow before thee... man you have some determination and some energy! but let me add - your results are worth the effort you took - love the pics. especially the chocolate with the ice cream :p

Lisa said...

Talk about going the distance! Even though you didn't like the tuiles very much, I must say they came out lovely and look delicious!

Passionate About Baking said...

BOW to you, your true DB. This is brilliant & I LOVE the strawberry kulfi! WOW...you're not one to get shaken off easily; GOOD FOR YOU Aparna!

Baking Soda said...

Aww I feel sorry for you Aparna. Thanks for introducing me to kulfi, I'd never heard of it before

Dharm said...

Strawberry Kulfi huh? Fantastic! I just have to admire your perserverance too. You are an inspiration to us all!

Happy cook said...

I love tulies, especially with a cuppa and thislooks yummy delicious.

MeetaK said...

what a great pairing idea - strawberry kulfi! perfect looking tuiles aparna!

teafactory said...

Well done on your persistance, I too had a problems with shaping my tuiles! Your's look yummy and strawberry kulfi sounds delicious!

Nangil Girl said...

Hi Aparna, This was the challenging recipe ever!!! And to think one itsy bitsy recipe did me in :)) Anyway, your creating looks great!! Chocolate cups and strawberry kulfi sounds great.

Sunshinemom said...

So sad about the broken tuiles but the proof is there and they passed the breaking test:) - you are one daring baker!! Kulfi looks tasty probably more because it is melting! The chocolate bowl is heavenly:)

Aparna said...

It was coincidence, Raaga.
And you learn to handle failures too, as a Daring Baker. There's so much support.

Thanks for the comments. Dharm, you make me blush.

You're welcome, Karen.

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

I loved how u persisted, Aparna! and the tuiles look pretty! so need not worry, u have proved ur talents once again!!

i havent done mine yet, hope to do it today and post!! ;-(

Smitha said...

Looks so pretty... good luck for your next batch....

Asha said...

I am seeing so many Tuille these days, now I know it's for the event. Your's looks so good, beautiful colors! :))

Jenny said...

I really love the swirl tuiles, too bad they broke. This is my first trip to your blog but I'm bookmarking it because I am always trying to make new vegetarian dishes at my house too.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What pretty tuiles! I love the combination! This kulfi looks delicious...

Cheers,

Rosa

Ashwini Kenchanna said...

Wow yummy and inviting..It has come out really nice.. Sorry about the borken ones..

pigpigscorner said...

Your tuile looks perfect! THe kulfi looks really delicious.

zorra said...

Nevertheless, your tuiles look great! And I liked the chocolate ones, too.

Frist I had also some problems to shape the tuiles, it's important to work very fast.

pixie said...

Thanks for the Kulfi introduction! I have never heard of it. I admire your perseverance! If I read you correctly, you let the tuiles cool? Perhaps that was why you couldn't shape them? Or maybe they were slightly overcooked? That's what happened to my first batch... But yes, problems always do arise in the kitchen right? No matter how long we've been baking! =) Your tuiles look great though! I like the chocolate stripe!

Cham said...

Love the pattern of swirl in ur tuile and straw kulfi yum yum :) Great challenge!

Curry Leaf said...

Aparna,I think we have somrthing in common.I was thinking of making orange tuile from joy of baking and also referecing the veganyumyum post today to be exact for FIC YEllow.Seeing all the yummy tuiles I may have to postpone this for later.
I believe that your tuiles are perfect and definitely professional.Love the kulfi and the combo.

Lauren said...

All of your tuiles look awesome! The chocolate ones look really yummy!

Rebecca said...

I had trouble too, so you're definitely not alone, Aparna. Your strawberry kulfi sounds absolutely delicious, though!

Dragon said...

My first batch didn't turn out either but us Daring Bakers, we soldier on, don't we? I think yours turned out great.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Sorry you had such a rough challenge. If it's any consolation, those four that you managed to take a picture of are gorgeous! Making the swirl must have taken a steady hand!

karuna said...

hey aparna, the tuiles look good. i got onto make them last night......it was an experience i will share with all soon. taking a second attempt at it, again,today. lets c how it turns out. look out for my blog, with the tuiles (hopefully)

Tara said...

You have amazing patience. I probably would have kicked the oven out of commission! Your tuiles are cute, though Im sad that you didnt like them so much. I made then regular and LOOOVED them! Well, I guess it givs you an excuse to try again sometime, huh? ;)

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a wonderful job on your tuiles! I made some that were strawberry flavored and they were wonderful. We liked them far better than the chocolate nut tuiles.

PG said...

lovely! Knew you would again come up with something special!
have something for you at my blog, please come and collect it! Thanks!

Yasmeen said...

Awesome!Love the kulfi idea,the molding was tricky for me too.

Andreas said...

Congrats for your determination.
I had also some difficulty forming my tuiles, and to be frank, I think they taste best eaten right from the sheet pan (when they are cool enough to not burn your fingers). Why bother with presentation in the first place. ;)

I have set my sights on these chocolate tuiles. Ice-cream season is just (*mwah* slight understatement here) five months away.

Audax Artifex said...

I really like the look of the chocolate tuile and the eggless ice cream. I love how you persisted until you did the task. I didn't have any troubles unlike you. I think this was the most enjoyable challenge for me even if the recipe was one of the simplest. Thank you of the comments on my blog. Yours Audax from Australia.

Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar said...

Oh dear, you really didn't have a good time making these tuiles! And after all that to have them break! They were really pretty, though.

Good on you for not being defeated, though!!

Soma said...

That choc. bowl & the spiral tuilles are so pretty Aparna. Cannot say enuf of the strawberry kulfi.Just yesterday my daughter was asking me if I could make her some strawberry kulfi! I was pretty surprised. will save this for the summer & i'll sure make this.

Vibaas said...

What a pretty creation! Too bad it broke :(

Melting or not, kulfi looks too tempting :)

chef_d said...

I had the same experience of the tuiles breaking when I shaped them but I love your chocolate tuiles!!

Ivy said...

So many interesting variations from the Daring Bakers this month but I thought I had seen all that had to be seen but yet here is another beautiful and creative presentation. Well done Aparna.

sunita said...

Now, that's the spirit of a Daring Baker! Well done for not giving up, the tuiles look beautiful :-)

Dhanggit said...

Your tuiles are magical Aparna, i bet they could disappear in few seconds with my mouth wide open hehehe! What a great rendition for this month's challenge! I must admit i didnt have time to do mine :-(

sra said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your long-drawn-out adventure with the tuiles. It's quite a coincidence that I'm seeing a strawberry-chocolate concoction - The Spouse got a strawberry-choc mousse last nite and made me try a spoon - it was nice.

Suzana said...

Oh strawberries! I so miss red fruits. Aparna, you've showed true Daring Baker spirit. I also went for the chocolate tuiles, which I think are really different from the original ones. Anyway, I think you did nicely. :)

shellyfish said...

You are a real trooper, Aparna! You should get a Daring Baker medal of honor after all that! :)

BC said...

Your tuiles look fantastic - you are a definitely persistent! At least this was a short recipe and we could work on it more than onec.

Well done!

Simran said...

This is why you guys are called daring bakers - this one was quite a challenge. The chocolate tuile looks lovely.

And I love the spiral chocolate pattern on the regular ones

Chantal said...

OhI can imagine how frustrating that must have been,I've had those baking days when EVERYTHING seemed to go wrong. But the pics you did get do look like perfect success, even if you weren't able to thoroughly enjoy them as you'd hoped.

madcapcupcake said...

LOVE the strawberry scoop in the chocolate :)

Hannah said...

I'm glad you didn't get discouraged and kept on trying until it worked- Your tuiles ended up looking fantastic!

seamaiden said...

Those are such pretty tuiles... and the kulfi sounds lovely. I haven't made it before but will have to try it. I'm getting jealous of everyone making strawberry ice cream or kulfi... my boring old vanilla just isn't as exciting! hehe

-Sea

Marija said...

I love the chocolate ones! And the Kulfi recipe is very intriguing. I'd love to give it a try!

Maggie said...

Your diligent efforts are inspiring! And just so you know, tempering chocolate makes me break out in panic sweats. Here's hoping the baking gods smile on your next challenge.

farida said...

I think you did a great job. Love the zebra effect on your tuiles:) I bet kulfi goes great with tuiles.

Arfi Binsted said...

those swirl cookies are just like our home-baked ones in Indonesia. We call them 'kuping gajah' means elephant's ear. good job!

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

Hi aparna
the tuile, as you have made it has come nicely..i love the spiral effect..cheers to daring bakers like you.

natalia said...

Ciao ! I'm sorry for all that happened to your tuiles ! I had problems getting them right too !! I love your blog !

Uj said...

You are one daring baker.. I would not have had the guts to try this one.. Looks cute with chocolate on it..
Strawberry is in season here..I might as well make some kulfi.. Looks yummy

Purnima said...

The tuile wt spiral piped chocolate looks so decent! U dared to Aparna, thats what matters...admire u for that..I am faaaaaaaaar from getting into this for time n skill..i lack both! :D For the kulfi..it too looks yummy..shall try it some time! :D

Candice said...

I sympathize! I had problems getting mine shaped right too. Fortunately I was able to get a FEW to work, but about half of mine broke.

jayasree said...

Hats off to your determination. Sorry for the end, though. But glad that you managed to click beforehand. It has come out well and with the choco spirals it looks pretty. Strawberry kulfi on the chocolate cup is yummy.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

So cute! I love your spiral! Very creative!

Vera said...

They do look perfect, Aparna!

Allergy Mom said...

I had very similar problems to yours. The spiral design on your discards is lovely, though. Libby