Thursday, January 29, 2009

Vanilla Tuile Cones with Lemon Curd or Sophie Can't Coddle Eggs

I was excited to participate in this month's Daring Bakers Challenge, especially since I wasn't able to participate last month. Last month the challenge was to make this crazy eight layer, frozen-mousse-plus-a-billion-other-pieces French cake. Between finals and the holidays/vacation, it just could not happen.

Here's the standard Daring Bakers blurb o' the month:
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.

This challenge was to make tuiles (Is that the plural of tuile? Let's pretend.) and pair them with something light of our own choosing. Originally I wanted to make sorbet but I don't have an ice cream machine and making your own sorbet looked kind of dicey. We had some grapefruits that had been hanging around for weeks so I decided to make grapefruit curd. Curd is kind of like a thin citrus pudding-y jam you can spread on just about anything. It's kinda sweet but kinda tart and kinda thick but kinda thin. I'm not very good at describing things, clearly. It's a good thing I decided not to major in English. "The book was kinda good and was about things and stuff. The end."



To make the grapefruit curd I heat up the juice of one ruby red grapefruit and the juice of a half a lemon over a make shift double boiler. While the citrus was warming, I beat three eggs with 1/4 cup a sugar. Then I tempered the egg-sugar mixture with some of the citrus juice to warm the eggs up without curdling. Added the egg mixture to the citrus and beat until thick and coated the back of the spoon. Took the mixture off heat, beat in 2 Tbsp butter and the most of the zest of the grapefruit. Viola! Grapefruit curd!

Except I only got it to work on the third time and wasted six eggs before I got it right. Our new stove is incredibly hot and no matter how carefully I tempered the eggs, they curdled. This drove me bonkers as I've made pudding/lemon curd/panna cotta etc only three trillion times successfully and suddenly the eggs would not bend to my will as per usual. Joe suggested the double boiler which helped a lot. He also beat the hell out the mixture and was probably more successful than me with my puny, stick like arms.

The tuiles were more successful, the most tricky thing about the tuiles is getting them the right thickness. Too thick and they'll be chewy, too thin and they'll burn up. You also have to shape them pretty much immediately after baking, which singed off the pads of my fingers.

I exaggerate, I still have fingerprints.

I used a slightly different recipe than the one given but lots of people had success with this recipe and it is pretty close to what I did:

Vanilla Tuiles

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
½ cup ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
dash of vanilla extract
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
1/2 cup sifted all purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat over to 350F

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. If using a stencil, press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter (I used the back of a spoon to make circles). Leave some room in between your shapes.

Bake cookies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet 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 bakingsheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.
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Anyways, once I singed my fingers off rolling the burning hot cookies into cones, I stuffed a bunch of grapefruit curd into a ziplock bagged, cut off the tip and pipped the curd into the cooled cones. Cooled cones. Sounds like a crappy reggae band. Maybe only because it sounds slightly similar to the fabulous movie Cool Runnings.

Joe told me to make just half a batch of cookies and then I fed him one and he shouted, "I WANT A THOUSAND." He later said they're the best thing I've ever made so I must file this away in the 'makes the boyfriend happy' file. Other things that make Joe happy include beating things in a mortar and pestle, Pokemon and opera. He has a wide range of interest.

Next up: yogurt panna cotta and coconut walnut butterscotch bars.

12 comments:

Sara said...

These look really yummy! The grapefruit curd sounds divine!

Megan said...

These remind me of cala lilies. So pretty. Grapefruit is becoming my new favorite flavor. Crisp!

alaskagrrrL said...

Grapefruit curd?! You didn't make ME any grapefruit curd! Thankless, loveless child--I disown you (well, that might work if I owned you in the first place...all will be right between us when you cough up my own supply of curd!) Love, Yo Mama

Jo said...

Looks delicious and I love the idea of a grapefruit curd.

Jenny said...

I'm had lemon curd, orange curd, and lime curd, but have never considered grapefruit curd! I bet it was lovely with these light airy tuiles!

Katy said...

Girl, you rock! Looks positively fantastic!

Joie de vivre said...

Those are so impressive! So how do the French bakers do it without singing off their fingerprints I wonder? Or do you just lose feeling after awhile and don't care anymore?

Sophie said...

Thanks girls <<33

Mom, I think you still do technically own me as long as you can claim me on your taxes. I'll make some for you this summer!

Joie de vivre, I think the French must have SOME trick for shaping these without burning your hands off, I just don't know what it is!

Lisa Michelle said...

I used to find grapefruit too bitter for my liking, until a chef pal sliced one open and sprinkled it with vanilla sugar. What a difference it made in offsetting the bitterness! This is why I LOVE your grapefruit curd with those perfectly rolled vanilla tuiles! Well done!

Anjanette said...

Lovely. The grapefruit curd sounds delicious. As does a grapefruit sorbet. My boyfriend loved these as well. Must be a guy thing.

toontz said...

I have made lemon, lime and orange curd, but never grapefruit. Guess that is the next on the list. Great job!

Here is my go-to recipe now for making curd: http://www.finecooking.com/articles/foolproof-lemon-curd-method.aspx

Your presentation is just lovely.

Scribblers Inc said...

Sweet God! Those look WOW! could you mail them?


Scribblers Inc.

P.S.-one baker who goes into the hall of fame!