Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tuiles, Raspberries, & Flan, Oh My

This is my first month as a Daring Baker, and I have to say that January's challenge already put me outside of my comfort zone. I'm really used to making hearty desserts so I found the crazily delicate tuiles required a bit of work. I chose a sweet recipe and made up something light and airy to compliment the tuiles. The recipe, combined with my insane love of lemon with everything and a hint of summer (aka raspberries), led to free form tuile bowls with lemon flan and raspberry compote. I loved the combination of organic shapes and summery flavors playing off of the deariness that is upstate New York in January.

Tuile Bowls
Following is a recipe taken from a book called “The Chocolate Book”, written by female Dutch Master chef Angélique Schmeinck.

Yields: Approx. 6 ramekin size bowls
Note: I tripled the original recipe so that I had plenty of batter to work with and it was the perfect amount.
Prep time: batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch

¾ cup softened butter (not melted but soft) – took 8 seconds in my microwave

1 ½ cup sifted confectioner’s sugar

A little more than 1/8 tsp of vanilla extract

6 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork

¾ cup sifted all purpose flour
Oven: 350F

Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed), cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Or, use a food processor.

Note: If using a mixer or hand whisk be careful not to over mix! I can’t stress this part enough. The first round of me vs. tuile batter began with me looking too long at the directions while the kitchenaid kept on a-paddling and it ended when my batter ended up looking more like loose cellulite than a paste. Not pretty. I highly suggest the food processor myself. It ended up looking smooth and lovely.

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.

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 a butterfly

Press the stencil on the baking sheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. I used a piping bag and a plain tip to pipe the desired shapes instead, reverting back to my cake decorating nature...

Bake in a preheated oven (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 around the cup/ramekin/dish/whatever used to make the flan in so that the flan will sit right in there.

These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, I baked them one "bowl" at a time to allow myself plenty of wiggle room for shaping. You could perhaps put them in the oven to warm them up again. That’s what was suggested, I personally haven’t tried that. The warmth should theoretically keep the cookies malleable.

Lemon Flan with Raspberry Compote
Raspberry Compote

modified from Martha Stewart's Cranberry Compote; see link above

Yield: Loads and Loads. Feel free to cut the recipe down by half at least. I just like using the compote on other baked goodies.

Ingredients ½ lemon
Peel from 1 navel orange
Juice from ½ navel orange
6 2/3 cups (24 ounces) frozen raspberries
1 cup sugar (or less if you want the compote to be less sweet. Not a huge deal)


Grate zest from lemons. Cut 1 lemon in half, and squeeze juice from 1 half into a saucepan. Peel orange, and cut in half. Add peel to pan, and squeeze in juice from half the orange.

Add raspberries and sugar, and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
Cook until raspberries are thawed and soft, about 15 minutes.

modified from Epicurious; see link above
Yield: Six

3 tablespoons juices reserved from compote
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
Peel from 1/2 lemon (yellow part only; removed with vegetable peeler in strips), coarsely chopped
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks

Spoon 2 teaspoons liquid from fruit compote into each of six 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups.
Place ramekins in 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Cover and refrigerate remaining fruit compote overnight.
Combine milk, sugar, lemon peel, and salt in medium saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Uncover and let milk mixture steep at room temperature 1 hour.
Return milk mixture to simmer. Strain into small bowl; discard lemon peel.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk eggs and egg yolks in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk warm milk mixture into egg mixture.
Divide custard among prepared soufflé dishes. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of soufflé dishes. Bake custards until centers are set and thin knife inserted at edge of dish cleanly separates custard from dish, about 45 minutes.Remove flans from water. Cool 1 hour. Refrigerate flans uncovered overnight.

Run small thin knife around flans to loosen. Invert each flan onto tuiles. Spoon fruit compote and syrup over and around flans and serve with lemon slice garnish.

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.


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