Well, that's a hefty title, but it sums up these treats perfectly. This month's Daring Bakers challenge was to make tuile dough and bend them into whatever shape met our fancy. Tuiles are a French cookie baked extra thin, and shaped (to somewhat resemble a roof tile, from which they get their name) as soon as they come out of the oven. Due to the flexibility of the cookie while it's still warm, it lends itself to be shaped into whatever you please. 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 Michael Roux. Now for my own little take on these recipes...
I was thinking about making rod-shaped empty crusts and filling them with some chocolate whipped cream or chocolate mousse. Something of that sort. I mentioned it to Moowie, and she suggested I try playing with marizpan, and maybe add some chocolate and coffee in there. What can I say, I took the idea and ran with it. I quickly found a couple marzipan recipes and adapted them to suite me, then found a good icing recipe and put it all together.
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 cups (1 lb) ground almonds
2 egg whites, room temperature
Just under 1 lb. confectioner's sugar
In a medium sized pot over medium heat, dissolve the granulated sugar in the water. Once it's fully in the liquid, add the cream of tartar and bring to a boil, covering the pot. Continue boiling for 3 minutes, then uncover and continue to boil with the lid off until a candy thermometer indicates the mixture is at 240ºF. Remove from heat and place into a larger bowl or sink containing cool water. Stir while cooling until mixture is thick, then add the ground almonds and egg whites. Place back over low heat and continue stirring for 2 minutes or until thick. Spoon onto a surface coated with powdered sugar and turn with a spatula until cool enough to handle by hand. Knead as you would dough, adding confectioner's sugar until fairly dry, smooth, and somewhat flexible.
Chocolate coffee icing:
3 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon strong coffee
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
In a double broiler (I always use a metal bowl that fits into a large pot containing a bit of water) melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring frequently. Take care not to overheat it, as the butter and chocolate will separate. Once melted, remove from heat and add coffee and powdered sugar. Stir or whisk vigorously until a smooth icing is formed.
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
Dash of vanilla extract
2 large egg whites, lightly whisked
1/2 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together. Once sufficiently aerated, add the vanilla. Slowly add the egg whites, followed by small batches of flour. Take care not to overmix the dough. Cover and chill the dough in a refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Allow the dough to sit on the counter for 30 minutes before baking. Using two pieces of parchment paper, spoon some dough onto one piece and cover with the other. Flatten the dough thin with a rolling pin, then place into the oven for approximately 5 minutes. Traditionally, tuiles will be lightly browned and crispy, but then they cannot be sliced; for this recipe, go for a cookie that's still mostly white. Shape immediately.
Divide the marzipan into four portions and sandwich between layers of plastic wrap. Roll into an approximate 12"x10" rectangle, then remove the top layer of plastic wrap. The 10-inch face should be the closest and furthest from you, with the 12-inch faces on the sides. Spoon some icing onto the marzipan and spread evenly, leaving a 1-inch gap at the furthest side from you. Using the plastic wrap to help you pick up the marzipan, begin to tightly roll the marzipan forward. When the roll is formed, turn so the seam is on the bottom and refrigerate for at least an hour to let the marzipan retain its shape. Roll out tuile dough into a shape large enough to surround your marzipan loaf, and bake according to directions. Remove the marzipan loaf from the refrigerator and wrap with the tuile, forming a tight loaf. Allow to cool to reoom temperature before placing back into the refrigerator, chilling for at least an hour. Remove from the refrigerator and trim the edges off either side of the loaf, then cut individual cookies out, each about 2 cm (approximately 3/4") wide. Makes 48 cookies.
The combination of coffee with chocolate and almond make these treats a fine snack at any time of the day. Take a couple nibbles with coffee at breakfast, or bite into them for a sweet dessert after dinner. I had heard of marzipan only a few times previously, and it was surprisingly easy to make a batch of my own. Given, I still haven't had any in a pre-made fashion, so I'm not even sure if it turned out correctly, but the cookie comes together perfectly regardless. Just make sure you have people to share these with, or you'll quickly finish off all four logs.