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Daring Bakers: Tuiles

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.

"What? Wait a minute, " I hear you say. "You wrote that the recipe is savoury tuiles are from Thomas Keller's The French Laundry, but the next paragraph says the challenge is chocolate tuiles from either Angélique Schmeink or from Michel Roux for what's suspiciously resonant of sweet tuiles.

Well, yes. The original challenge was for sweet tuiles...but the savoury recipe kindasorta snuck its way into a challenge variation.

Hurrah for savoury choices!

Don't get me wrong, I love my sweets, but my sweet tooth has been on strike for a while, so when given the choice between savoury or sweet, I choose the former.

"What the heck are tuiles," I hear some of you say. "I thought that was ballet tutus were made of."

That's tulle.

A tuile is a crisp and thin biscuit, usually shaped. According to our lovely hostesses, traditionally they are gently molded over a rolling pin or arched form while they are still warm. Once set, their shape resembles the curved French roofing tiles for which they're named. In The Netherlands, this batter was used to bake flat round cookies on 31st December, representing the year unfold. On New Years day however, the same batter was used but this day they were presented to well-wishers shaped as cigars and filled with whipped cream, symbolizing the New Year that's about to roll on. And of course the batter is sometimes called tulip-paste....

Tulle is a very fine, starched, light netting that's used for bridal veils, foofoochichi gowns and ballet tutus (which one could argue is a foofoochichi gown in its own right).

"No, I meant that thin cottony cloth."

That's toile. My word...how old are you that you recall ballet tutus made of cottony cloth? Depending upon how you use the word, toile can be a painter's canvas, or a dressmaker's pattern or a repeated pastoral scene on an off-whiteish cottony cloth.

"Isn't that a person who follows Islam...what you claim the dressmaker's pattern is."

No. An adherant of Islam is a Muslim...not muslin. And yes, muslin is a material used to mock up dresses and clothes.

"Then what's Muesli?"

An oaty cereal made with oats and fruit. It's like granola.

"I thought that was French for "frog."

Non. Le mot pour "frog" est "la grenouille."

"Isn't that in the Alps?"

Grenoble is a city in the French Alps. Les grenouilles are found in ponds and rivers and other wetlands...although there may be ponds in Grenoble..."

"The Alps. Isn't that a god or something?"

You're thinking of Apollo, who's in both Roman and Greek mythology. He's associated with music, light, intellectualism and a raft of other things.

"Yeah, but wasn't he in the stars or something."

Maybe you're thinking of the Apollo missions and the moon landing.

"I love looking at the moon and stars and all that outer space stuff."

(SIGH) Yes. I know (even though, if I were you, I'd be more concerned with your inner space).

"Hey. You know French. What's the French for moon and stars?"

The moon is "la lune."
Stars are "les étoiles" or the singular is "l'étoile."

Etoile. Isn't that a cookie?

That's a tuile...as in this month's Daring Baker's challenge.

The recipe called for black sesame seeds to be sprinkled on the biscuit before baking. That, I did. But I also sprinkled on some nigella seeds (hey, January is her birthmonth) on some others. We were asked to pair our biscuits with a light-ish topping. Well...it's January. In Canada. I'm not so into light and am firmly entrenched in hearty. Sorry ladies...well, not really. I paired the sesame seed tuiles with black olive tapenade (store bought) and the nigellan lotus cups (square biscuits cooled in cupcake bowls) with a white bean hummous, specked with nigella seeds.


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