I was pretty nervous about this post because tuiles always seem to create drama on the cooking shows I watch – they looked very fiddly and very fragile.
French for the word “tile” tuiles are thin, curved biscuits often used to add texture or decoration to plated desserts or mousses.
They are made from a batter/paste comprising flour, egg whites, sugar and butter. You can then add a number of different flavourings including nuts, seeds and things like chocolate and vanilla.
The batter itself is dead easy – it’s the moulding and templating that’s tricky.
Some people make templates by cutting shapes out of ice-cream container lids or other plastics, but you can also try to create your shapes freeform with a steady hand and a small pallet knife.
The trick is to make sure you shape the tuile when it’s still soft but not immediately out of the oven. It needs to start solidifying or else it will just fall apart if still too warm.
I wanted a coconut tuile to go with my passionfruit posset, and found a Gordon Ramsay recipe that worked perfectly.
50g unsalted butter
85g desiccated coconut
85g icing sugar, sifted
25g plain flour
2 medium egg whites
Melt the butter, then leave until cool, but still runny. Preheat the oven to fan 160C/ conventional 180C/gas 4 and line a baking sheet with non-stick silicone.
Whizz the coconut in a food processor until finely ground, but not powdery. Whizz in the icing sugar and flour, then the egg whites followed by the cooled butter – you should have a smooth, slightly runny paste. Scoop this out into a bowl.
Put a teaspoon of the mixture on the silicone and spread with the back of a dessertspoon into a neat thin 7cm round. Alternatively, place a round stencil on the silicone and scrape the mixture flat in the hole with a palette knife. Shape 3-4 at a time, leaving space between.
Bake in batches for 7 minutes each, until pale golden around the edges. Remove and scrape off on to a wire rack to cool. To shape, press each one over a rolling pin as it cools.
A posset is a classic cream-based set dessert flavoured with citrus fruits like lemon, lime and passionfruit. The citrus component is actually what thickens and sets the cream.
600ml double cream
8 tbsp passionfruit pulp, (sieved)
2 tbsp lemon juice
In a saucepan, melt the sugar into the cream over a low heat. Turn the heat up and boil rapidly for three minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and add the passionfruit and lemon juice. Stir until it thickens.
Pour into ramekins, then leave it to sit for 10 minutes.
Place in the fridge for 4-6 hours.