April has just flown by and we all meet again for another monthly Daring Bakers’ challenge. The April 2011 challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz who chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. In her featured example, she uses a baked bacon cup to serve her detectable mousse. For my containers I was inspired by the spirit of Easter celebrations around me, hence I thought of baking tuiles to hold my maple mousse and Easter eggs. Yea, there can never be Easter for me without my creme-filled eggs and chocolate bunnies!

Tuiles are thin crisp cookies with a lacy texture. The name comes from their traditional curved shape that copies the shape of roofing tiles once used in France. The idea is to spread the batter into thin circles on a well buttered baking sheet and lay the cookies over a rolling pin while they are still warm and pliable. I took the recipe for tuiles from the January 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge [graciously hosted by Karen @ Bake My Day! and Zorra @ 1x umrühren bitte] and adapted it ever so slightly by replacing the vanilla sugar with a dash of almond extract.

 
 

While I was somewhat apprehensive about their outcome, it took me only two attempts to get my tuiles right. I would suggest that you run a test batch first to adjust the baking time and temperature so that your tuiles do not turn dry and brittle. As I did not have much time to devote to this month’s challenge, my last-minute tuile baskets were not as fancy as I would have liked them to be. Given a second chance, I would probably give these lovely tuile spoons from Sprinkle Bakes a try to use up the remaining mousse.

The maple mousse was what I liked most about this challenge. Pure maple syrup was not hard to get hold of but it did cost me a small fortune: Rs300 for 250ml at Monoprix. I was not a bit disappointed with this investment as the mousse turned out to be as smooth and silky as I could care to imagine. Thanks, Evelyne, for the maple mousse recipe and for this great challenge!

 
MAPLE MOUSSE
 
 
 
Ingredients:
 
1 cup (240 ml/ 8 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup
 
4 large egg yolks
 
1 package (7g/1 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatin
 
1 1/2 cups (360 ml. g/12 fluid oz) whipping cream (35% fat content)
 
 
Method:
  • Bring maple syrup [not maple-flavoured syrup] to a boil then remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple syrup in while whisking.
  • This is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t curdle. Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.
  • Measure 1/4 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Place the bowl in a microwave for 45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between).
  • Or place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir to ensure the gelatine has completely dissolved.
  • Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside.
  • Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.
  • Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream.
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour. Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers.
 
FRENCH TUILES
 
 
 
Ingredients:
 
65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
 
60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
 
1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
 
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
 
65 grams /  ½ cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
 
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet
 
 
Method:
  • Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed), 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 or paste.
  • Be careful to not over mix. 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.
  • Preheat oven to 180 oC or 350 oF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray.
  • Chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil or template.
  • Press stencil on baking sheet and use an off-sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes.
  • Bake in a preheated oven (180C/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 in the desired shape.
  • Cookies have to be shaped when still warm. Bake a small amount at a time or put them in the oven to warm up again.
  • Shape immediately after baking using a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups or cones.
 
 
This month’s challenge has been specifically designed to get the Daring Bakers community channel their skill and energy toward the creation of an edible container and a filling that would perfectly pair the Sweet & Salty combination. Indeed, prizes will be given out to the most amazing creations, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at The Daring Kitchen!
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