Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Tuile cups with stewed apples

After the really complicated pick for December's Daring Baker's challenge, I was really excited to see that this month's recipe, which though requires some technique, was decidedly less involved. 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.

With so much choice, I was a little hard pressed as to which one to make, but ultimately decided to go for the plain Tuiles. Now I've made tuiles just once before, so by no means am I an expert in this. It took several batches of tuiles before I was finally happy with the thickness, the crispness, the browning at the edges and the shaping of them. I made both the regular curved shapes by draping the tuiles over my rolling pin, and also made tuile cups by putting them into a scalloped silicone baking mould.

Since the challenge called for something fruity and all I had in my kitchen at the time were apples, I simply stewed some apples and put them in the tuile cups. To finish, I gave them a light dusting of cinnamon.

From The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeinck

5 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
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet

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.

Bake tuiles 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….

Yields: 20 small tuiles/6 large

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

TWD: Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

Its Tuesday again, and that means its time for yet another Tuesday with Dorie post! Out of all the cookbooks that I own, that is without a doubt, hands down, my most used one and its thanks, in no small part, to the efforts of this group. This week, the chosen recipe is Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread.

Like so many recipes that I get to make as part of the TWD group, this is probably one that I wouldn't have chosen on my own. Yet, many times after making these recipes, I come to realize what I would have missed out on. This was another one of those.

The chocolate and ginger combination worked really well here, with the sweetness of the chocolate icing helping to tone down the tang of the ginger. I did, however, choose to leave out the crystallized stem ginger as I was afraid it would be too "gingery". I didn't miss it, but fans of ginger may want to throw them in for that added kick!

For recipe, click here.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

TWD: Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins

It may be a new year but the TWD-ers are still working through Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours! This week's pick was Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins.

Now, having had a break for the holidays, which though extremely restful and nice, I was itching to return to my kitchen and my beloved baking equipment. In addition, I was dying to test out some new kitchen gear which I had received as Christmas presents (Thanks guys! You know who you are). 

Since I've only been back in London a week, I still haven't quite gotten my routine down yet, so today saw me rushing home from work to whip up this recipe and put up this post! Thankfully, being a muffin recipe, they were in the oven in no time.

I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of cornbread. I'm even a lesser fan of Mexican food and related flavours, so today's recipe wasn't really for me. Still, I'm glad I made these for it gave me a chance to use the brand new plates that I received as a belated wedding present from M's aunts and uncles.

For recipe, click here.