I have enough tuile batter in my fridge for 36 tuiles. I have successfully made one, and that “successfully” is used very loosely because even though the recipe called for a “golden brown all over” look, and mine is golden brown in places, those places taste burnt and terrible. So, this is going on the shelf labelled “WTF, try again later”.
I have also been at this recipe for 4 days, trying multiple batches, oven temperatures, spoon sliding motions, thickness/thinness ratios, cooling times and baking sheet surface liners. This has been quote the journey and I have one single lacy tuile to show for it.
All over the internet, this cookie has been described as easy.
My patience is wearing thin.
Tuiles are insanely delicate little cookies typically baked with egg whites, and get their name from the curved pottery tiles used on houses in France. Tuiles are baked flat and then while still warm, warped around a device like dowling or a rolling pin or bowl to create decorative shapes. All I was after was a nice taste and the exact same lacy, webby texture shown in James Peterson’s book Baking.
What I first found is that this recipe may be flawed, as no matter how long I chilled and whisked the batter, every batch ended up greasy. I cut the butter in the recipe and added more fruit zest for my second batch (based on the recipe Peterson’s recipe is based on) and was more successful. What also helps is cooling the melted butter to room temperature before incorporating it, and keeping the batter in the fridge overnight.
You seriously have to use a silicone pan liner with these. Parchment paper just not does it (though perhaps that’s what the extra butter in Baking‘s recipe was to cover?) and you will frustrate yourself to no end if you use it. Everything sticks!
Anyway, in the end, maybe it’s best to just bake them flat and leave them that way. The process of removing them quickly from searing hot baking sheet to rolling pin is stressful, and not fun like baking is supposed to be.
So, here is what I have to show for my hours of work.
Look at that. That’s four days of experimenting and tweaking and that’s the result. It’s a little disappointing.
As frustrating at that may be, it’s really important to try, try again when something you want to create doesn’t work the first time. While the science of cooking and baking has been almost standardized, it’s hard to account for weather, or for stoves overheating or for wonky measuring devices when you’re a hobby baker, and as a result you need to experiment.
Try different things with your recipe. The best thing I can suggest is, if the recipe fails the first time, try it once more following the exact recipe, and if that still fails apply tweaks. Keep everything fluid, and don’t give up. And if you get your tuiles to work perfectly and have perfected the recipe, tell me how.
Recipe below. Good luck!
Tangerine Tuiles adapted from James Peterson’s Baking, which is adapted from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course
- 3/4 cup fresh tangerine juice. This can be like, 5 – 7 tangerines. You can also use grapefruit or oranges.
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 14 tablespoons/ 1 and 3/4 sticks / 207 ml / .875 cups of melted butter, cooled to room temp. This is such an awkward measurement, so I’ve included all kinds.
- 1 teaspoon grated tangerine zest
- 3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Whisk together sugar and flour.
- Slowly whisk in the citrus juices and mix until smooth and pasty.
- Drizzle in the melted butter and the zest, and whisk vigorously until everything’s incorporated and smooth once again. You can also use electric beaters.
- Refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with a silicone liner.
- Spoon a small teaspoon of batter onto the liner and gently spread it out into a 4″ circle.
- If you can fit multiple circles on your sheet, do so. I can only fit two at a time!
- Bake for 7 – 10 minutes or until golden brown all over. Don’t underbake.
- Take the tuiles out of the oven and let them sit for 1 – 3 minutes or until you can lift them up with a spatula.
- Gently and quickly drape them over a rolling pin to set. Cool the baking sheet in between batches.
Seriously. Experiment, let me know how it goes.