Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Praise of Simplicity, or, The Cookie Crumbles

After last month’s Yule Log debacle, it was with some amount of trepidation that I approached this month’s DB Challenge: tuiles. I envisioned myself covered in flour and butter, screaming, as I wrestled with the fragile cookies, and winding up with nothing but shards and a broken heart. But Daring Bakers are a persistent—or perhaps insane—group, so there was no room for fear and trembling. Either move on, or give up the DB. Well, that I won’t do. I mean, if I hadn’t joined the DB, would I have made danish? Pâte à chou? Genoise? No. So, I had to press forward.

The whole process of making tuiles was surprisingly straightforward. I could have pushed myself further, creating stencils and also coloring the batter, but, even though I wanted to challenge myself, I also wanted a small respite from the multistep recipes that don’t always end successfully (*cough*YuleLog*cough*). So I made simple circles of plain vanilla batter, spreading it with an offset spatula, and then baking them in small batches.

The cookies never really darkened, staying almost as pale as my legs. Perhaps I should have baked them longer, but I was concerned that any longer in the oven and they’d be too brittle to shape. So, they emerged from the oven in all their midwinter skin pallor. I draped them over some small metal bowls to create little cups, but they took on only a gentle ruffle, not a deep cup shape. But they would serve my purpose as serving vessels for a sorbet made of sparkling wine and raspberries. A few cracked, which means Z. and I got to snack on their remains.

And here you have the end result: a light, refreshing dessert that, while it certainly won’t drive anyone into a mad frenzy of dessert-induced delirium, was certainly pleasant. The tuiles tasted just like professionally-made cookies, even if their appearance was somewhat lackluster. And the sorbet was flavorful and bright. A simple, charming way to begin the year.

Further challenges await, and I’m ready to meet them.

- Ami


Anonymous said...

Indeed pleasant and refreshing. Your writing and photos gave me a smile. Even the sorbet smiled.

Baking Soda said...

Not sure why they didn't bask in the ovensun and got a tan.. puzzled. Good job