Happy New Year! Either I’m very late in saying that or I’m still celebrating the Lunar New Year, you can decide which it is. January certainly flew by for me, and I’m still surprised that my Daring Bakers post is already due. After returning from our marvelous trip out east, I’ve come back with much more flavor inspiration for my baking this year. Be on the lookout for more exotic desserts in 2009.
A little about tuiles: traditionally, tuiles are thin, crisp almond cookies that are gently molded over a rolling pin or arched form while they are still warm. Once set, their shape resembles the curved French roofing tiles for which they’re named. The Dutch angle is that this batter was used to bake flat round cookies on December 31st, representing the year unfold. On New Years day, the same batter was used, but this day they were presented to well-wishers shaped as cigars and filled with whipped cream, symbolizing the New Year that’s about to roll on.
In this Daring Bakers‘ challenge, we were to pair the tuiles up with something light, and I thought of panna cotta after one dinner last week. I decided to add some fruit to it, flavoring the panna cotta with lychee puree and adding raspberry puree as a garnish. The flavors went wonderfully together, and the tuiles were the perfect finish to the dessert.
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.
from Angélique Schmeinck’s The Chocolate Book
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon sugar
dash of vanilla extract
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked)
1/2 cup sifted all purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
2. 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.
3. 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).
4. Line a baking sheet with Silpat mat and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil. Press the stencil on the baking sheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. If foregoing the stencil, use a rubber spatula or piping bag and spread/pipe batter in desired shapes, making sure to leave room in between shapes.
5. Bake in preheated oven 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.
Lychee Panna Cotta
adapted from Gourmet, August 1997
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons cold water
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups lychee puree (from 2 cans canned lychee)
1. In a very small saucepan sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand about 1 minute to soften. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat until gelatin is dissolved and remove pan from heat.
2. In a large saucepan bring cream, milk, and sugar just to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring. Remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture and lychee puree. Divide cream mixture among eight 1/2-cup ramekins and cool to room temperature. Chill ramekins, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.
3. Dip ramekins, one at a time, into a bowl of hot water 3 seconds. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin and invert ramekin onto center of a small plate.
4. Garnish the panna cotta with raspberry puree and tuile.
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 teaspoon sugar
drop of lemon juice
1. Using a food processor or blender, blend raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice until it becomes a puree.
2. Strain puree through a cheesecloth, discarding the seeds.