In fairness, I was warned by my friend Claudine that it usually requires several attempts to master the art of the tuile. The word comes from the French for 'tile', on account of the shape and thickness of these scrummy little goodies, which can be enjoyed in the morning with a coffee, or used to decorate ice cream.
This is an easy recipe, but the size and shape of your little spoonfuls of mixture on the baking tray will dictate your success or failure.
2 eggs Use the whites only, and beat them until they just start to whiten
100gm castor sugar, including 15gm vanilla sugar Little sachets of sucre de vanillé are easily obtainable in France, but if you can't find it in your part of the world, you could try this recipe (untested) that I found online at Mother Nature Network
50gm butter Melt this until it only just becomes liquid
cardboard tube, covered in tin foil The centre of an old roll of tin foil or kitchen towel does very nicely
Method for 9 tuiles
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C.
2. Beat the sugar into the eggs, then fold in the flour and add the liquefied butter. The resulting mixture should be 'gloopy': smooth and shiny, very thick and sugary.
3. Leave the mixture to rest for an hour in the fridge.
4. Take a Tefal tray and a teaspoon (so that's what I did wrong!) and carefully set out 9 little circles, spaced well away from each other on the tray. Note 'well away from each other' - they spread! Flatten each little circle with your spoon.
5. Sprinkle flaked almonds over the top of each tuile.
6. Bake for up to 10 mins at 200 °C until the tuiles are crispy but not burnt. Your tuiles should be wafer-thin and they will burn easily if you have them at the correct thickness. If your little circles were too close (and large), on the other hand, they will meld into each other. (Guilty on both counts!)
7. While the tuiles are still warm, lay them over the top of your cardboard tube covered with tin foil (spot the deliberate mistake below). Leave to cool.
Wine? The classic drink for a dessert is a good Sauterne but, given the price, you'll have to be sharing your ice cream and tuiles with guests, rather than supping alone.
Rating ***** But this rating is for Claudine's tuiles, not my own. She's definitely the mistress of the art and seems to be able to supply them in quantity at village events. Although I have to say that even my thick, badly shaped tuiles were delicious. With this recipe you don't have to throw your learning process in the bin.
Have you tried any of my recipes so far? If so, let me know how it turned out and what you thought of it ...