>> Tuesday, April 6, 2010
What follows is a post from last year, from my very first Daring Bakers challenge. I loved being a part of the Daring Bakers. However, I somehow found myself waiting until the very last minute with each and every monthly recipe. I've since stopped participation. This is one of my favorite DB posts, though. The "tuiles" I made were delicious -- even if they weren't very tuile-like.
I've been working now for 12 days straight . . . but I still found some time to squeeze in this month's challenge last Saturday. First, I had never, EVER made anything like tuiles before -- so that aspect of the challenge was incredibly exciting for me. And despite their amateurish thickness (Yes -- I've notice that everyone else's are much thinner and crispier), they tasted amazing . . . looked pretty . . . and I think I'll most definitely make them again.
I didn't muse over the whole process before beginning -- so when I had finally whisked together the paste/dough and put it in the refrigerator to cool, I went mad searching around the house for some type of stencil material. As you can see in my photos, I didn't find anything that actually worked (I tried a piece of card stock, several cookie cutters, etc., etc.). To make them look fancy, I used a bit of pink food coloring and -- when they were RIGHT out of the oven -- lightly pressed our potato masher into them to make a design.
A few broke while being transferred from baking sheet to rolling pin . . .
While others simply basked in the morning sun . . . (I certainly wish MY Saturday had been so restful!)
I paired them with a rich ricotta chocolate mousse (another new recipe for me -- see below).
What You'll Need . . .
Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)
Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch
- 65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
- 60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces 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 / 1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour (I mixed in 1/8 cup coconut flour)
- (I added some sesame seeds)
- 1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
- Butter/spray to grease baking sheet
Method . . .
Oven: 180C / 350F
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 overmix.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray 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. Press the stencil on the baking sheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. 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.
Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. 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 maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a baking sheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.
If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones . . .
RICOTTA CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
What you'll need . . .
- 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup soy milk (or regular milk)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Place chopped chocolate in a 2-cup glass measure or small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on 70% power (medium-high) for 1 minute; stir. Microwave on 70% power for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until chocolate is melted, stirring every 15 seconds.
- In a food processor bowl combine cheese, soy milk, and vanilla. Cover and process until combined. Add melted chocolate while food processor is running. Process until well combined. Spoon into demitasse cups or small bowls. Serve immediately, or cover and chill for up to 24 hours. If desired, garnish with fresh berries and mint leaves.
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