Friday, January 30, 2009

Tea with the New Neighbors in the Land of St. Honore'

It was a bright, sunny and cold winter day in the Land of St. Honore’ when the invitation arrived on my doorstep. Strange that it wasn’t in the mailbox, but a tea party’s a tea party, right?

At the appointed time I arrived at the grove, dressed in my best, and walked up the incline and through the round door. The invitation had indicated that my hostesses were new to the neighborhood and wanted to meet those who lived nearby.

Liv and Sal were very welcoming. They drew me in with an array of pale yellow pudding, gathered on a red tray.

The place looked a bit odd…all smooth curves, but smelled wonderful, too; butter and almonds and sugar smells. Liv’s ears were a bit pointy and Sal’s eyes bulged. Their white hair looked a bit like feathers, but maybe those were hats. We sat in a round little room and talked about the neighborhood. I didn’t see a tea pot, but maybe calling it a ‘tea party’ was just to make it sound festive.

We started with a lovely, light lemon buttermilk pudding made by one of the guests and a fellow baker, Hil.
She promised to give me the recipe, but I’m still waiting. It’s made with Meyer lemon juice and zest and has milk, eggs and buttermilk. It was delicious!

Then Hil and I tried the cookies served by our hostesses. As guests you try to behave as if you are enjoying the food, even when you’re not, but I’m afraid that I made a face.
These tuiles were alien. Rubbery, greasy and pale except for around the edges. The flavor was good if you could get past the texture.

After trying their baking, I’m sorta glad there was no tea!

As the afternoon started to grow dark, we made hasty good byes and headed down the ramp. A few minutes later as we walked down the road toward home, we heard a huge roar behind us…and turned to see the ramp slide toward the closed door and then the “house” rose up from the grove and we saw that it was a donut shaped ship. As it rose overhead, Sal and Liv looked down from the clear middle and waved and waved until it was out of sight. I guess those were alien cookies after all.

The above story is pure fiction, except for the part about the cookies being rubbery and oily. Not sure what I did wrong, but the batter never came together. When I spread the batter on the Silpat mat, using a tart tin for a template, you could still see pieces of butter suspended in the batter.

Unfortunately I ran out of time this month to try it again. I’m sure that the fault was mine and not the recipe because I’ve seen dozens of beautiful tuiles made by many, many Daring Bakers. To see them yourself, go to the blogroll on the right side of my blog, You’ll be glad you did.

Our hostess…the REAL ones…this month are Karen and Zorra…and even though I didn’t meet the challenge, these were great recipes.

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.

The Tuiles recipe I used is one from the challenge:

Following is a recipe taken from a book called “The Chocolate Book”, written by female Dutch Master chef Angélique Schmeinck.

Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)
Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch

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 / 1/2 cup / 2.1/4 ounces sifted all purpose flour
1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet

Oven: 180C / 350F

Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and 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/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
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).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.

Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a bakingsheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.

If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones….

Note: The lemon buttermilk pudding recipe will be posted as soon as I get a copy.

Happy end of January!


  1. Anonymous4:12 PM

    You could always spin a tale Elle :)

  2. I have never seen them turn out that way before. They do look like potato chips.

  3. I"m sorry your tuiles didnt turn out well but I love the story as usual!!

  4. Well, I didn't think ALL was perfect in the land of St. Honore. ;-) Maybe you can try them again sometime. The pudding sounds good.

  5. Hahaha that's a good one. And don't feel bad, my first batch did something similar with the butter, though I didn't end up with oily cookies.

  6. The batter of my second attempt looked like yours. I think it comes when the ingredients don't all have the same temperature. Anyway yours look great!

  7. Sorry they turned out alien-like :( Better luck next time, and that pudding sounds wonderful!

  8. I'm known to sport the occasional white hair though..
    So sorry it didn't work out for you, I will keep you for the lemon pudding!!

  9. Just checking in on your fantastic edibles. Your story is just as wonderful as usual!

    Love, MMM

  10. What a great story! I had that happen with my butter suspended the second time when I mixed it with a fork to not have to get out my mixer. Apparently my arm is not as strong or fast as my mixer. I also added the eggs all at once instead of a little at a time. Made a big difference for me.

  11. Did you ever get the meyer lemon buttermilk pudding recipe? Sounds so good! My mom has a meyer lemon tree.

  12. Elizabeth, no I completely forgot about that recipe...thanks for reminding me to ask for it again. :)