Yo, baby! Did I ever mention that *I* am a Daring Baker? Well, I am. And it’s time. Time for another fanfrickingtabulous Daring Bakers challenge!
daring bakers: we knead to bake!
I need to give a shout out to my lovely, wonderful, sexy, smart, and talented founders: Lis of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice, and a huge thanks to our equally lovely, wonderful, sexy, smart, and talented hosts for this month. Here’s the official line:
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.
Of course, one of the reasons I am so happy about January’s challenge is that we had the option to go savory – which you know I love – based on Thomas Keller’s cornet recipe from The French Laundry Cookbook.
how apropos – we use real butter *snort*
The tuile batter is really easy to make. It takes seconds (okay, minutes – but not many). I’ll bet you’ll spend more time making your stencil than whipping up the batter. For the stencil, I used the cardboard that comes on the back of every legal pad. It was probably my (very) dumb luck that it happened to be teh (Mom, that spelling is intentional) perfect thickness.
spread batter over the stencil
and don’t forget the sesame seeds
The most difficult part of this whole endeavor was finding cornet molds. While I love our local gourmet store, Peppercorn, I also hate them. Why? Because they charge $1.95 for one mold which costs $.50 just about anywhere else. I bought the only two they had. They tried to convince me that the stronger molds would work just as well and oh… they are a mere $5 a piece. For 5 bucks a pop, they’d better vacuum my house and do my dishes. Sheesh. [I did end up ordering a dozen from Sur la Table at a reasonable price and I can’t wait to use all fourteen of my cornets again!]
rolling the half-baked cornets onto the molds
The second most difficult part wasn’t so much difficult as scary. I don’t like to burn my hands on hot things. I can barely tolerate 80°F heat let alone standing in front of a 400°F oven – with the door open. Those tuiles are not only slippery, but floppy little buggers. What worked best for me was to roll the tuile over the mold with my left hand and turn the mold from the inside by slipping an icing spatula into it and turning the handle. Am I making any sense here? It’s to turn the mold and hence wrap the tuile around the mold without, oh I dunno, losing all of my fingerprints. Once the tuile was wrapped around the mold I would set it against another object (usually another rolled tuile) with the seam side down. None of mine unraveled during the second baking.
some fresh maguro (tuna)
separating the membrane
The whole reason I was jazzed about savory tuiles was because I planned to stuff them full of tuna tartare. I’ve read about the appetizer and couldn’t wait to try making it myself. I decided to dress the tuna simply.
smoked mexican black sea salt
adding crushed sea salt to the mix
I chose green onions, some salt (with that awesome hint of smokiness), lime juice, and a flavorless vegetable oil to bind it together. The chunks of tuna look like little jewels. A few spoonfuls fit into each cornet and I topped them off with a sprinkle of buttery smooth cubed avocado.
definitely do not forget the lime, lest ye want ye olde scurvy, arrrrrrr!
i had to fight the urge to shove this in my mouth, because i had to photograph it
Now you know why I promptly ordered a dozen cornet molds from Sur la Table after I finished this challenge – because I am totally going to make an ass ton of cornets from now on out. Cornets for everyone! I love these things. I loved this challenge! Who came up with this phenomenal goodness? Thank you, Karen and Zorra, for choosing such a rockin’ recipe. I *heart* you!
yes! yes! yes!
playing around with a tower of tartare topped with a tuile fish
And don’t forget to take a look at all of the incredible creations from the rest of the Daring Bakers. If you are a fan of sweets, there are a ton of delicious sweet versions cropping up all over the food blogosphere.
Savory Tuiles (Cornets) with Tuna Tartare
from The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsps all purpose flour
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt (OR 2/3 tsp table salt)
8 tbsps (4 oz.) unsalted butter, softened but still cool to the touch
2 large egg whites, cold
2 tbsps black sesame seeds (I used regular sesame seeds)
2 cups tuna tartare
avocado for garnish
1/2 lb. fresh sashimi grade tuna
3 tbsps green onions, minced
1/2 tsp salt (I used smoked Mexican black sea salt)
3 tbsps flavorless vegetable oil
lime juice, to taste
To make the cornets:
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the softened butter until it is completely smooth and mayonnaise-like in texture. Using a stiff spatula or spoon, beat the egg whites into the dry ingredients until completely incorporated and smooth. Whisk in the softened butter by thirds, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary and whisking until the batter is creamy and without any lumps. Transfer the batter to a smaller container, as it will be easier to work with. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Make a 4-inch hollow circular stencil. Place Silpat on the counter (it is easier to work on the Silpat before it is put on the sheet pan). Place the stencil in one corner of the sheet and, holding the stencil flat against the Silpat, scoop some of the batter onto the back of an offset spatula and spread it in an even layer over the stencil. Then run the spatula over the entire stencil to remove any excess batter. After baking the first batch of cornets, you will be able to judge the correct thickness. You may need a little more or less batter to adjust the thickness of the cornets. There should not be any holes in the batter. Lift the stencil and repeat the process to make as many rounds as you have molds or to fill the Silpat, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between the cornets. Sprinkle each cornet with a pinch of sesame seeds.
Place the Silpat on a heavy baking sheet and bake for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the batter is set and you see it rippling from the heat. The cornets may have browned in some areas, but they will not be evenly browned at this point. Open the oven door and place the baking sheet on the door. This will help keep the cornets warm as you roll them and prevent them from becoming too stiff to roll. Flip a cornet over on the sheet pan, sesame seed side down and place 4-1/2 inch cornet mold at the bottom of the round. If you are right-handed, you will want the pointed end on your left and the open end on your right. The tip of the mold should touch the lower left edge (at about 7 o’clock on a clock face) of the cornet. Fold the bottom of the cornet and around the mold; it should remain on the sheet pan as you roll. Leave the cornet wrapped around the mold and continue to roll the cornets around molds; as you proceed, arrange the rolled cornets, seams side down, on the sheet pan so they lean against each other, to prevent from rolling. When all the cornets are rolled, return them to the oven shelf, close the door, and bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes to set the seams and color the cornets a golden brown. If the color is uneven, stand the cornets on end for a minute or so more, until the color is even. Remove the cornets from the oven and allow to cool just slightly, 30 seconds or so. Gently remove the cornets from the molds and cool for several minutes on paper towels. Remove the Silpat from the baking sheet, wipe the excess butter from it, and allow it to cool down before spreading the next batch. Store the cornets for up to 2 days (for maximum flavor) in an airtight container.
To make the tuna tartare:
If you are so inclined, remove the silver membrane from between the sections of tuna. Cut the tuna into a coarse chop and place in a bowl. Mix in the oil and green onions. Add the salt and lime juice to taste.
Fill each cornet with tuna tartare and top with diced avocado.