Holding my breathing...
Feeling stress? I am.
Having a heart attack? Almost.
This is how I felt baking my first batch of tuiles...
Tuiles are classic French cookies, named for their curves like tiles that line the rooftops of country homes. These French cookies are well known for being ultra-thin, crisp, fragile, sweet or savoury. The sweet version of these classy cookies are often served with ice cream, chocolate mousse or custard to enhance the status of these creamy desserts but most often, tuiles can be as good as on their own, plain with tea or coffee.
Glad that Joyce from Kitchen Flavours has chosen this theme for our bake-along with Lena from Frozen wings. If I don't have to bake these for our bake-along, I probably won't have the guts to bake any of these classy French cookies - Chicken me!
This maple tuile recipe that I have chosen is rather autumn-inspired. Although we are having Spring season now in Australia, I like to disregard any seasonal factor and go ahead to bake this beautiful recipe. Nevertheless, I promise myself that I will bake a Spring version of tuiles, but only if my first tuile-baking succeed. Successful or not? You'll see.
Baking these tuiles can be as challenging. It may require numerous trials and errors as you would imagine and these are what I have learned:
Timing is critical for tuiles baking!
Under-baking these cookies wouldn't harden them to form curved cookies.
Over-baking these cookies can burn the edges very quickly.
Transferring these cookies without sufficient cooling can tear them apart easily.
Transferring these cookies too slow will be too late for them to form curved shapes.
Tuile baking needs numble fingers!
Tuiles can be extremely brittle as a tiny knock can chip their edges easily.
Tuiles can be extremely fragile as they break apart easily while transferring them from baking sheet to rolling pin.
Nevertheless, it was fun going through this nerve-wrecking baking experience. You know what? I'm happy that I have actually survived well after baking these tuiles...
|Translucent maple tuiles - So fragile and yet so pretty!|
|I reckon mixing this small amount of dough doesn't require any electric mixer.|
|A nerve-wrecking experience is beginning...|
|Ready to transfer these tuiles?|
|Phew! These survived...|
|Out of 29 that I have made, 16 are as good as perfect. The not-so-good ones went instantly into my mouth :p|
Here's the recipe from the book, Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
(with my modification and notes in blue)
Makes about 48 cookies
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, sifted
In a small bowl, using a sturdy rubber spatula or a hand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup together until light in color and texture. Gently stir in the flour, mixing only until it is incorporated. Cover the bowl, pressing a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter, and refrigerate for at least 3 hrs, or for up to 1 week.
Note: Using half amount of the recipe, I have made my dough using a wooden to beat the butter, brown sugar and maple sugar as electric mixer is not required at all and can't mix this small amount of batter.
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 400°F or 180°C fan forced. Have two unlined baking sheets at hand and, if you want to curve the cookies into their traditional tile shape, a rolling pin or a slender bottle.
Roll small scoops of dough between your palms to form balls the size of small cherries or hazelnuts, and put the balls 2 inches apart on the un-buttered baking sheets (I used silicon baking sheets).
Bake for about 7 mins, or until the cookies spread and are golden colored and honeycombed. - Beware! Please do not over-bake or under-bake cookies. Immediately remove the baking sheets from the oven, let the cookies rest a few secs and then, using a spatula, lift them from the sheets: the best way to do this is to carefully work the spatula under a cookie edge, then push the spatula beneath the cookie with a quick jerk. If the cookie crumples a bit, as it might, don't worry - it will straighten out on the rolling pin or rack. For curved cookies, moving with alacrity, lay the cookies, a few at a time, over the rolling pin. Transfer the cookies to a rack after they have set - for under a min-or so, if you want flat cookies, just cool them on a rack. If the cookies cool and stick stubbornly to the baking sheet, slide the sheet into the oven for another minute to warm them.
If you are making another of cookies, make certain the baking sheets are clean and cool.
Serving: These are ready to serve as soon as they are set.
Storing: If your kitchen isn't too humid, you can keep these overnight on a lined baking sheet - don't cover them, just let them breathe. Unfortunately, they cannot be frozen.
Note: Using half amount of the recipe, I have baked 29 tuiles at 180°C fan forced for 7 mins. It is best to consume these cookies immediately as none of mine survived on the next day.
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