Tuiles are thin, crispy cookies that are typically shaped, while still hot from the oven, by placing them on a rolling pin. Tuile means ’tile’ in French, because these end up looking like roof tiles. They’re very fast and easy to make, but you do have to spend a bit of time shaping them. I’m sure you could leave them flat, but they are more fun, and easier to eat, when they have a little curve to them. I love them with fresh fruit and whipped cream, but they are very tasty plain, with a hot tea or coffee. They have a sort of dark, burned sugar flavor, but they’re light and delicate.
All you need to make tuiles is melted butter, egg whites, sugar, cake flour, and vanilla.Â In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour. Whisk in the egg whites, followed by the vanilla. Once combined, whisk in the butter until the mixture is well combined and smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place a tablespoon of the chilled batter on a lined baking sheet (this is the first time I’m using my brand new Silpats!). You can use silicone mats or parchment paper, just make sure it’s nice and flat on the pan. Spread the batter until it is about 4 inches in diameter. Place two or three more tablespoons of batter on the pan, leaving at least three inches between them, as they spread quite a bit. I only made three at a time, which gave them more room to spread and made it easier to shape them. Cover the remaining batter and place back in the refrigerator while these bake.
Bake them at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. I know that’s a big time difference, but the cookbook says to do about nine minutes, and mine took about 14 minutes. You want them to be very golden brown around the edges with just the very center being slightly pale. You might wonder while they’re baking if they are supposed to look bubbly and pale like that…they are.
When you remove them from the oven, allow them to cool on the pan for a bit before transferring them to a cooling rack. Allow them to cool for about 30 more seconds then shape them over a small bowl or a large rolling pin. Be careful as they are still a bit hot.
Once they cool, these make wonderful little bowls for fruit and fresh whipped cream. To make the whipped cream, whisk cream and sugar together in a medium bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, on high speed. Once peaks begin to form, add vanilla and continue whisking until stiff peaks form. If desired, you can toss the fruit in two or three tablespoons of sugar, but I like it just like it is. Fill each tuile bowl with fruit and top with a generous amount of whipped cream.
You can also wrap the hot tuiles around the handle of a spoon to form cigarettes. Allow the cigarettes to cool on the handle for about 5 minutes, or the centers will collapse. I used a large wooden spoon that could hold about three cigarettes at a time.
Tuiles with Fresh Fruit and Whipped Cream
Makes about one dozen
FOR THE TUILES
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, sugar
1/2 cup cake flour, sifted
2 large egg whites
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Peaches are another delicious option.
To make the Tuiles: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour. Whisk in the egg whites, followed by the vanilla. Once combined, whisk in the butter until the mixture is well combined and smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While the batter is chilling, core and slice strawberries and other fresh fruit.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place one tablespoon of batter on the prepared baking sheet and use a small spatula to spread it slightly. It should be about 4 inches in diameter. Add three or four more tablespoons of batter to the pan, leaving about 3 inches between each (these spread out quite a bit). Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the very centers are light brown.
Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for about 30 seconds before removing them to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for another 30 seconds before shaping. You can shape these on rolling pins, bowls, or spoon handles for various shapes. Be careful while shaping, as these are still very warm. Allow to cool completely before serving. Store in a very air tight container to keep them crisp.
To make the whipped cream: In a medium bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk the cream and sugar together on high speed. Once peaks begin to form, add the vanilla and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
Tuiles adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking