Recipe: Tuiles aux amandes

Ingredients

200g chopped or crushed almonds

200g icing sugar

50g plain flour

2 whole eggs

2 egg whites

50g butter

A little vanilla essence if you like

Some butter to grease your baking tray

Method

Almond Tuiles are excellent for a couple of reasons. First, they fast really excellent. Secondly, and most importantly, they give you Top Bragging Rights. “Mmm, these are lovely” your guests will exclaim upon eating them with whatever cheap dessert you’re trying to dress up a bit. “Where did you buy them?”

“The Almond Tuiles?” you’ll reply with initial capital letters. “Oh those, I made them this morning.”

Do your best to keep a smug grin off your face and don’t, whatever you do, explain how simple they are to make.

So, first you melt the butter and allow it to cool. While it’s chilling you mix together the almonds, sugar and flour and then the eggs (whole and whites) which you should lightly beat together with a fork first. Now add in the cooled, melted butter (although not so cooled it’s hard again. Duh) and the vanilla essence if you want it.

Allow the mixture to rest for half an hour in a covered bowl, then put well-spaced spoonfuls onto a greased baking tray. I use silicone liners called Silpats in some parts of the world, marvelous things to which nothing will stick. Flatten the piles down with the back of a moistened fork, making sure they’re in nice, regular, I-can-pretend-these-are-shop-bought shapes and cook at 220C for around 5 minutes. You need to keep an eye on them because they go from ‘not ready’ to ‘call the fire brigade’ in about 8 seconds – a good excuse to clean the glass in the oven door.

They also continue cooking for a short while after you take them out of the oven, so you need to take them out just before they’re done. Easy.

Also, when you take them out of the oven they’re quite malleable – you can bend them over a glass or rolling pin to take on pleasing shapes. If you’re quick, you can roll them into a cone and drop them into a champagne flute to make nice cones for, say, your expensive pretend-it’s-homemade sorbets.

I promise not to tell.

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