Tuesday, December 7, 2010

{TWD} Translucent Maple Tuiles


Many a time when browsing through Dorie Greenspan's book I'd stopped by the page for the Translucent Maple Tuiles. In the picture they are absolutely gorgeous; shining golden curved cookies on a plate, yet as I looked at them, invariably my thought was "aargh, how will these ever turn out when I try to bake them?" It's the curved part that looks and sounds tricky: a process that involves taking cookies hot out of the oven, somehow getting them off the cookie sheet, then draping them on a cylindrical object. Once cooled, they maintain a curved form. Or at least that's the theory.

This week the tuiles are the assignment for the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group. Time to face this somewhat intimidating recipe head on. After all, that's why I joined the group, to learn new techniques. Right? Right!

n.o.e.'s notes:

- The maple tuiles recipe was chosen by Clivia of Bubie’s Little Baker, who is Canadian. I must confess, Clivia, I used New York State maple syrup for my tuiles. Clivia's tuiles post has the recipe, or you can look in the book on page 173.

- The dough couldn't be easier to mix up - just stir together a few room temperature ingredients, including butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, and flour. Looking back, I wish I'd used Grade B maple syrup, as it has a stronger maple flavor, and I'm all about the maple. Following a tip from this week's P&Q post I cut the amount of butter by about a teaspoon or two. The dough chills for a few hours, or two days in my case. Dorie says the dough can be made up to a week in advance.

- A whole bunch of Tuesdays With Dorie bakers who are on Twitter picked a time and baked this recipe "together," tweeting their experiences as they went. I was a bit late to the party, so I just read all of the tweets and had plenty of tips when I baked mine. From what I gathered, bakers were using cooler ovens than Dorie's 400 degree recommendation, and the cookies were baking pretty quickly. Engineerbaker said that she was using parchment (even though the recipe says to bake on an unlined cookie sheet.) That was all the permission (excuse?) I needed, and I was ready to bake - on a parchment, no less.

- I used my tiny melon baller to scoop out the dough. The little balls were maybe dime-sized in diameter.

- Dorie talks about removing the cookies from the sheet and draping them "with alacrity," surely a recipe for disaster in my hands. I realized that if I baked each cookie on its own 3 inch square of parchment I could skip the spatula entirely (although I lined up at least 4 different ones, just in case.) It worked perfectly! I could lift the parchment square, let the cookie cool for a few seconds, then peel the cookie from the parchment and drape it.

- I had to play with the oven temperature and time a bit. I baked the first batch in an oven that was not hot enough. The tuiles curved nicely, but were pliable even when cooled, so they flattened out when left to their own devices. 375 degrees for approximately 7 minutes ended up being perfect.

- Draping the cookies over my rolling pin produced a curve that wasn't as dramatic as I wanted. I searched around my kitchen, and ended up using spice bottles and the handle to my dough whisk. After I finished, I realized that a broom handle would have been perfect. I would wrap it - actually I wrapped all of my cylinders - first with plastic wrap so the cookies would be on a clean surface and so that the surface wouldn't absorb the grease from the hot cookies.


It was so much fun forming the curved tuiles that I experimented with making tuile cups. After trying a few different techniques, and here's what I devised:

- Scoop or roll the balls somewhere between a nickel and a quarter in diameter. Place them in the center of a 5" square piece of parchment (can re-use from cookie to cookie) and bake. For me, 375 worked the best. Start checking them at about 5 minutes, and remove from the oven when the cookies are bubbling and browned.

- Let the tuiles cool -flat - on the parchment, then remove them from the parchment and place each over the open top of a custard cup or ramekin, put back into the oven for about 45 seconds, or until softened. The cookie may start to sag into the cup, which shows that is is warm and malleable. Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and gently press the warm cookie down into the inside of the cup. Let cool. Because there is so much butter in these cookies, they will easily release from the cup.

the verdict:

Despite my early trepidation, the tuiles were lots of fun to make. With simple-to-throw-together dough and a baking time of just minutes, they deliver a lot of wow! for very little effort. Not only that, but they taste scrumptious. We especially loved them as ice cream cups, accompanied by rum ice cream and toasted coconut ice cream.

16 comments:

Mary said...

I love it as an ice cream basket. I think I should make them a few times with different maple syrups and see if they taste that different...hmm....

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

Beautiful! I love the ice cream cups - so clever! :)

Clivia said...

Brava for all your hard work and ingenuity in making so many perfect tuiles! Your blog is one I look forward to every week.
Thanks so much for baking along with me this week.

mike said...

So funny... I used Costco maple syrup (expensive) but I never checked the origin (gasp!). These look wonderful - and the basket is a must-do. I broke up the rejects for ice cream sprinkles... the grease was the only thing I dislike about these wonderful wafers!

Sara Tea said...

That photo with the ice cream scoop is BEAUTIFUL! Job well done! I love this time of year because I can make everything maple and no one complains, hah!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

you know, i had grade B in the fridge and i didn't think to use it...i'm going to write a reminder in my book, b/c that's a good idea. thanks for all the tuile tips. i love how your cup is the perfect size to cradle a scoop!

Flourchild said...

I agree these were so fun to make! Yours look great and I love the ice cream basket..super cool idea!!

Tia said...

too too cute! love the idea and execution :)
Tia @ ButtercreamBarbie

Kayte said...

I love the little ice cream cup...I am going to make some of those next. Love all your tips...you were missed during the Twitter bake, but we sure learned a lot from when you did make them...those parchment squares are a great idea!

Di said...

Ooh, with rum ice cream? What a great idea. =) I wish I'd reduced the butter slightly, but my tuiles still turned out pretty good.

Tracey said...

The ice cream basket is the best shape - that's the one I want to try should I ever figure this recipe out. Next time maybe I'll reduce the butter a bit and see what happens. Thanks for the parchment tip - it definitely made life easier!

Mary said...

Thanks for all your tips and advice this week! Love the cookie cups--it's the perfect size for that scoop of ice cream.
:)

TeaLady said...

The little ice cream cup was fun to make. Great minds, Nancy, great minds. It would make such an elegant little side dessert.

Good idea on the parchment squares. And the whisk handle. And reheating just a tad.

limo london said...

wow yours are simply perfect! they look crisp and wonderfully golden brown.

bellini valli said...

These do look fun to make, a good chice ladies. Tey remind me of the brandy snaps my dad used to make.

Jules Someone said...

Love your ideas for a bowl. Nice work. These ended up not being very scary at the end.