How to make Tuiles

Tuiles on a Petit Four Stand
photo by stockbroker, c/o www.123rf.com

Tuiles are French wafers (thin biscuits) which are baked. They are formed into an arc rather like a Pringle™. They make an elegant garnish for a host of dishes. In many cases they are flavoured or coloured to enhance their look.

Originally, the name is derived from the French word for tile which they resemble in France.

They make a great addition to desserts in particular like fools, panna cottas, ice-creams and sorbets. Coloured tuiles are used to grace garnishes for savoury dishes too. Squid-ink creates a particularly interesting black colour. A baked halibut benefits from this type pf attractive texture.

Ingredients:

  • 115g/4 oz/¾ cup caster sugar or icing sugar
  • 3 large egg whites, lightly whisked
  • 115g/4oz/(½ cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 2-1/4 oz. (½ cup) plain/all-purpose flour

Typical flavourings:

All these are optional but they add extra interest and reinforce the flavour of the main dish that they are garnishing. Try combinations. Vanilla is very popular.

Colourings:

Preparation:

  1. Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until the mixture becomes pale, fluffy and smooth.

  2. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl.
  3. Carefully fold in the flour, followed by the egg whites and any flavour or colour extract. Cover the bowl with cling film and chill in the fridge for one hour.

  4. While the tuile biscuit mixture is resting, line a baking tray with silicone paper. Take a sturdy piece of plastic  such as the clean lid of an ice cream carton or a cookie cutter. Cut four 5cm/2in holes from it, leaving a 2.5cm/1in space between each hole and discarding the circles you cut out. The ice cream lid is worth retaining for later use. 

  5. When the tuile biscuit mixture has rested, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4.

  6. Lay the template over the silicone paper. Using a palette knife, spread a little of the mixture into the holes to create four thin, even, flat discs. Remove the template carefully. 

  7. Bake the tuile biscuits in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and, while still warm, wrap the exposed face of each biscuit over a rolling pin or any other curved surface, such as a mug, carefully peel away the silicone paper, and set aside to cool.

  8. Repeat the cooking and shaping process with the remaining tuile biscuit mixture.

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