After drooling over the challenges of many food bloggers for the past few months, I finally decided to join the fun and frolic that is the Daring Bakers community. 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.
Finding a vegan recipe for tuiles was a cinch. A simple web search lead me to the VeganYumYum blog. With only a few ingredients and ground flax seeds & water as an egg replacer, the light, fluffy batter came together in a snap.
One of the rules for January’s Daring Bakers challenge was that participants have to shape their tuile cookies, either using a stencil or shortly after baking. This turned out to be fairly tricky the first time around. The sticky batter was difficult to spread over my first cardboard stencil in an even layer. In addition, these cookies are very fragile and harden quickly, so they must be shaped within a minute or two after coming out of the oven.
My first batch was pretty much a disaster. Fingers were burned. Cookies fell apart. Egos were injured, and this lady was about ready to throw in the towel. It wasn’t until the next morning, after creating an experimental lemon/rose fluff (that may eventually become a candy flavor!) that I was inspired to give the tuiles another go.
Admittedly, the stencil and shape I was going for with my previous attempt at these cookies was pretty lofty. I decided to try something a bit simpler this time. To shape the cookies, I made a makeshift mold out of an empty paper towel roll, parchment paper, and some (new) hair ties to keep everything in place.
Also, instead of using a stencil to make some perfect circles or other shapes and then leveling them off with a spatula, I found that using the back of a spoon to spread the dough onto the cookie sheet pizza-sauce-style (starting with small circles in the center and working my way out) worked just fine. The dough for these cookies is greasy enough that I wouldn’t even recommend using parchment paper or a Silpat to prevent sticking – it really isn’t necessary – and the dough spreads out a bit on its own during its short baking time and (in my experience) ended up more or less level in the finished product.
While I still ended up with lots of broken/useless cookies, I did have five or so turn out using this method, and boy-howdy did they taste heavenly with the lemon-rose filling. All headaches aside, my first challenge was a relatively satisfying one, and I look forward to next month!