Thursday, January 29, 2009

Coconut Toile

As the month January winds down it is once again time for the Daring Baker's challenge.

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.

Karen's creation this month is particularly eye-catching, so be sure to visit Bake My Day. It appears Zorra's site is having a little bit of difficulty, but I'm sure it will be remedied soon.

A tuile (French for 'tile') is a small, thin, crisp cookie that is molded over a cylindrical object while still hot from the oven. When the cookie cools it holds its shape, and when done in the traditional method resembles the curved roofing tile from which it draws its name.

Upon discovering this month's challenge I was a little ho-hum about it. To be honest I wasn't able to muster a whole lot of enthusiasm about it until I was popping them into my mouth this evening, then I was mightily pleased. I've just been so busy this month it's been unrealistic to pop in the kitchen to whip up something new.

Thankfully this challenge was a breeze, and with the latitude given by the hosts it ended up being quite enjoyable. We were given three separate recipes to experiment with: sweet, nougatine, and savory. The rules instructed us to attempt at least one recipe of pastry, mold them however we saw fit, and fill them with something light. I had originally planned on trying a savory version, but couldn't decide on a suitable filling. When I realized on the 27th that I still hadn't made the tuile yet, I quickly decided upon a sweet tuile with coconut sorbet, chopped mango, and toasted coconut. I also decided against shaping them in the traditional method and instead made tiny cups by forming them in a muffin pan.

The recipe came together perfectly on the first try. My only real problem came when the bag I was using to pipe onto the parchment lined baking sheet split its seam and exploded pastry batter all over my counter. Beyond that mishap everything was smooth sailing - save for burning the ever loving hell out of my fingers while trying to mold them. The coconut sorbet and mango paired beautifully, as the two flavors usually do. Mr. TA loved this challenge in particular, wolfing down the entire batch whilst standing in the kitchen - pint of sorbet wide open, mango mashed on the cutting board, and toasted coconut finding refuge all over the counter and floor - an assembly line of tuile-y goodness.

Although I might have been apathetic about this challenge at the beginning of the month, I'm actually quite excited to see where I can apply this in the future. The cups are really quite sturdy, can be made days ahead with ease, and look quite stunning. The possibilities truly are endless with these recipes. I encourage you to try them yourself and see where it takes you.

I'm thinking savory cornets with crab salad, vanilla bean cups with rosewater-tapioca pudding, chocolate-mint tuiles with milk chocolate mousse...

Thank you very much to Karen and Zorra for picking such a wonderful challenge. I think this is one of the first recipes we've had that I can see myself making again and again. Be sure to check out the the Daring Bakers Blogroll to see some amazing creations this month from the other Daring Bakers.

Recipes available at Bake My Day...


Anonymous said...

Another DB challenge winner! Your sweet coco tuile looks just parfait.

katie said...

Excellent photos!
One day I will fight my fear of commitment enough to join the DBs.

Jude said...

I hate it when I explode batter using flimsy pastry bags. usually it ends up on me and my counter remains spotless.