Despite my penchant for making decorative desserts, for some reason I’d never made tuiles before! This past Thanksgiving I figured it was time to remedy that, so to top a cake I decided to make a set of autumn-leaf tuiles. They turned out beautifully, so here’s the recipe. They’re not only beautiful, but they’re delicious as well!
One thing I noticed was that in order to get them really crisp, you need to let them bake long enough to brown slightly– otherwise they stay a bit soft and that’s not what you’re going for. Plus, the browning helped make my otherwise bright colors into more autumnal shades. At the end, I traced veins with edible paint made from gold highlighter dust and vodka, but you could use melted chocolate, or a mixture of cocoa and water, or really anything you like.
Autumn Leaf Tuiles (from King Arthur Flour)
(makes about 15-20 3-inch tuiles)
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (50g) flour
- 1/2 cup (55g) confectioners’ sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup (55g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature (makes them easier to incorporate)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Sift the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt together and place in a small bowl.
- Whisk in the melted butter, egg whites, and vanilla until you have a very smooth batter.
3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 400°F towards the end of the rest/chill time.
4. Stir and check the consistency of the batter. If it seems thick, you can add milk 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the batter is thin enough to spread easily. You want it spreadable but not too runny, or it’ll lose its shape. If using food coloring, add it now.
5. Lay a Silpat or a clean sheet of parchment on the back side of a sheet pan. (or use a baking sheet without edges on all sides) Using a stencil,* spread batter thinly onto parchment in desired shapes. You can combine colors for a swirly look, too.
6. Bake for 5-7 minutes, just until the edges turn brown. I actually let mine brown more because I liked the effect of the color– the ones in the image aren’t sufficiently browned, but I put them back in later.
7. Working very quickly, use a metal spatula to peel each tuile off the parchment and lay over a rolling pin to cool.
8. If your tuiles cool and don’t crisp up, feel free to put them back onto the pan and into the hot oven to bake a little longer– it won’t hurt them, I promise. Similarly, if your tuiles cool in the wrong shape, you can warm them to soften and then try again.
* I cut my stencils out of heavy paper. You can use the images below (enlarging or reducing to your preferred size) and using your computer monitor as a light box to trace them onto paper of your own.