Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daring Bakers Shape Up for the New Year

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.

When my fellow Bread Baking Babe, Karen and good bread baking friend, Zorra were announced as the co-hosts for this month's Daring Baker Challenge, I was all excited because I was pretty sure we would making bread and you know how I feel about bread.

So, imagine my surprise when I logged onto our private Daring Baker forum and found out that we were making tuiles!

While from a recipe standpoint tuiles aren't really that difficult, the shaping is a bit tricky and takes some practice. You have to form or mold the slightly baked dough while it is warm and then finish baking it and let it cool completely.

Believe me when I say you will have asbestos fingers when you are done making tuiles.

Karen and Zorra gave us the options of not only forming our tuiles into any shape we desired but to make either sweet or savory and to adapt the recipes to our particular flavor tastes. I chose savory and, using Thomas Keller's wonderful recipe but omitting the black sesame seeds and adding a small palm full of finely grated parmesan cheese, I used one of the large scallop shells I have for Coquilles St Jacques as a mold.

Then I made the chickpea puree from "Adventures of an Italian Food Lover", steamed some shrimp in stock and thyme, and used the Scallop Tuile for the top shell of my seafood treasure.


Thomas Keller: Savory Tuiles for Jan DB Challenge

To see sweet and other savory versions of these wonderfully flexible treats, go visit my fellow Daring Bakers.

Savory Parmesan Tuile
Adapted From Thomas Keller's "The French Laundry Cookbook"

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons AP flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool to the touch
2 large egg whites, cold
2 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan Cheese

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt and cheese. 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 400 degrees F.

To make them shaped like a cornet:

Make a 4-inch hollow circular stencil. Place Silpat on the counter (it is easier to work on the Silpat before it is put on the sheet pan). 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.

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 and place 4-1/2 inch cornet mold at the bottom of the round. If you are right-handed, you will want the pointed end on your left and the open end on your right. The tip of the mold should touch the lower left edge (at about 7 o'clock on a clock face) of the cornet.

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.

Fill them with any savory filling like smoked salmon mousse and serve.