Tuiles for the Daring Bakers

After all the holiday eating, the Daring Bakers chose to make something light this month – 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.

The Savoury Tuiles are from Thomas Keller's "The French Laundry Cookbook".

Traditionally, tuiles are thin, crisp almond cookies that 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. The Dutch angle: traditionally 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.

We were given the choice of making either Sweet or Savoury Tuiles, and I chose to make the savoury one.

The following recipe is to make Cornets, but since I couldn’t find the cornet molds or anything that would substitute well enough, I went ahead and shaped the tuiles using stencils.

Savory Tuile/Cornet recipe
From Thomas Keller "the French Laundry Cookbook"

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (65 grams/2.1/4 ounces) all purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt (= 2/3 teaspoon table salt)
8 tablespoons (114 grams/4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened but still cool to the touch
2 large egg whites, cold
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds (or Ajwain/Carom seeds, like I used)

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 degrees F.

Make a 3-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 tuiles you will be able to judge the correct thickness. You may need a little more or less batter to adjust the thickness of the tuiles

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 tuiles. Sprinkle each tuile with a pinch of carom (ajwain) seeds.

Place the Silpat on a heavy baking sheet and bake for 4 to 6 minutes (depending on your oven) or until the batter is set and you see it rippling from the heat.

Remove the baked Tuiles from the Silpat and placed them on a rolling pin to ‘form’. These are very hot at this point so be very careful while handling them.

I topped my tuiles with Ajwain( Carom seeds), Red chilli flakes and Garlic powder. All three tasted good and were gone in minutes!The red chill flakes and the garlic powder have to be sprinkled when the Tuiles are just out of the oven, before they form, so that the toppings can stick on.

These were tasty on their own and so I didn't pair them with anything in particular.

I also made 'curly' tuiles, using a thin rectangular stencil, and then rolling the baked Tuile around a wooden skewer.

I paired this with a bowl of fresh fruit, it was a good combination of sweet and savoury.

Another challenge completed! :)

Tomato and Basil Soup

This cold weather always makes us yearn for something warm and comforting. Nothing fits the description better than a steaming bowl of soup,that warms from within. This Tomato and Basil soup is a slow simmered soup, which brings simple flavours together.

You will need:

1 tbsp Olive oil

2 tbsp Butter

1 Onion, finely chopped

2 lbs ripe plum tomatoes

1 clove Garlic, chopped

cups Vegetable stock

2 tbsp sun dried tomato paste

2 tbsp Shredded Basil

2/3 cup Heavy cream

Salt and pepper

Heat the oil and butter in a large pan. Add the onions and sauté until soft and ranslucent, but not browned. Stir in the chopped tomatoes,garlic, stock, sun dried tomato paste, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then lower heat, half cover the pan and let simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the tomatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Process the soup with the shredded basil in a blender or a food processor. Then press through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Add the cream and heat through, stirring. Do not allow the soup to boil. Check the consistency and add more stock if necessary, season with more salt and pepper. Pour into bowls and serve immediately.

Garnish with fresh cream or fresh basil. I ran out of fresh basil so I made do with cilantro instead. Also I've garnished with fresh cream, a few drops of it and then run a toothpick through to get this design.

This has the refreshing flavour of fresh basil and the hint of garlic makes it scrumptious to the last sip. A sure warmer for a cold cold day!

Dora The Explorer Cake

This is one cake I have been long waiting to do. Ask any two or three old what their favourite show on tv is, and without a seconds hesitation, pat will come the reply "Dora The Explorer"!

I have seen so many versions of this cake online, and was waiting for a chance to make one myself. A friend ordered this for her three year old yesterday.

The detail work takes a while to do, but overall an easy cake.

It was a Marble Cake with Vanilla buttercream frosting and filling.

My friend said her daughter loved it and I had made her day....what more could I ask for? :)

Chinna Chaaru

Chaaru is the translation for Rasam in Telugu. I don't know how the name came about, but we've always known it this way. Chinna means 'Small'. My paternal grandmother often made this Rasam when we visited my Dad’s native which is on the border of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. This is basically a Tamarind based rasam, simple yet flavourful and very aromatic.

You will need:

2 tbsp Tamarind paste

3 Cups Water

Salt to taste

1 tbsp Jaggery, powdered

To be ground:

3 cloves of Garlic, minced

3 Guntur chillies

4 Byadige chillies

4 Whole peppercorns

1 tsp Cumin seeds


1 tsp Oil

½ tsp Mustard seeds

¼ tsp Asafoetida

Dissolve the tamarind paste in the water. Add the ground paste to this and bring to a boil. Season with salt and add the powdered jaggery. Taste and if the rasam is too tart, add more jaggery. Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds and when they begin to splutter add the asafoetida. Add this seasoning to the boiling rasam. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander.

Serve hot with white rice.

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Happy Makara Sankranthi!

Wishing all my readers a very Happy Makara Sankranthi! The very first festival of the year is celebrated all over India with great pomp and fun fare. Each state has a way of celebrating this festival. In the South, in the state of Karnataka, Makara Sankranthi is celebrated by making varieties of Pongal and Ellu with Sakkare acchu.

I made the Ellu and the Sakkare Acchu (sugar candy) at home. I didn't make Pongal this time though.

Home- made Ellu ( a mixture of peanuts, dalia, toasted sesame seeds, dried coconut and jaggery bits)

Sakkare Acchu - molded sugar candy

Hope this year is a bountiful and prosperous one for all of you!

Tomato Rosemary Muffins

Ever since I bought the Better Homes & Gardens Baking book, I have been meaning to make these mini muffins. Don't let their size fool you, there is a burst of flavour in every bite!

You will need: Makes 36

1 ¾ cups All purpose flour

1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

2 tsps Baking powder

½ tsp dried Rosemary, crushed

¼ tsp Baking soda

½ tsp Garlic powder

½ tsp Pepper

1 beaten Egg

½ cup Milk

½ cup Tomato sauce (or substitute with store bought Marinara sauce)

1/3 cup Olive oil

2 tbsp Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a mini-muffin tray.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, parmesan cheese, baking powder, crushed rosemary, baking soda, garlic powder and pepper. Make a well in the centre and set aside.

In another mixing bowl combine egg, milk, tomato sauce and olive oil. Add this mixture all at once to the dry mix. Combine with a wooden spoon just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).

Spoon prepared batter into the greased muffin pan, 2/3rd full. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on each muffin. Bake for 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes, then remove and serve warm.

Note: These can be made in regular sized muffin pans too, increase baking time and bake till light brown.

I used Marinara sauce and the aroma was heavenly when these muffins were baking . They were very tasty too.

Sweet Corn Veg. Soup

If you have eaten at an Indian restaurant which boasts of serving “Chinese” as well, then this is one item on the menu you probably wouldn’t have missed seeing.

No matter how many new soups the restaurant has on its menu, it’s always down to the tried and tested…the Sweet Corn Veg. Soup. A simple yet fulfilling soup, and a family favourite too.

With the temperatures fluctuating like crazy; one day its in the mid 60s (like yesterday) and on another its chilly in the low 40s, you can’t help but crave for comfort foods. And on a cold day there’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of hot soup. Better still, if it’s a favourite!!

You will need:

1 ½ cups Cream style corn

½ cup whole corn kernels (preferably canned,drained)

2 carrots, finely chopped

½ cup Green beans, chopped

½ tsp White pepper powder

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp Black pepper powder (we like it spicy!)

¼ tsp Ajino Motto (optional)

2 tsps Vinegar

1 tsp Soya sauce

2 tsps Corn flour (only if required)

Cook chopped beans and carrots in boiling water till done, about 6-7 minutes. To the same pot, stir in the cream style corn and the whole corn kernels. Add water if required. Stir in the white pepper powder, salt,black pepper,ajino motto (if using), vinegar and soy sauce. Bring to a boil.

The soup should be thick from the cream style corn. In case it’s very thin, dissolve the corn flour in a teaspoon of cold water, and add to the soup while stirring. This will thicken the soup. Check for seasoning and serve hot.

Serve it alongside extra soy sauce and vinegar with green chillies in it. These are common condiments served with Sweet Corn Veg. Soup.


Shahi Capsicum/Bell Pepper

This is one of mom’s recipes which I took from her on the day I was having friends over for dinner. As I had mentioned in one of my previous posts, my mom is the one I call no matter what query I have in cooking and more often when I am having guests over. She helps me decide the menu in a snap!

Bell peppers/Capsicum was a favourite growing up and even now. There are so many ways to cook it and no matter what you do with it, it still tastes good.

That night was the first time I made this and was very pleased with how it turned out, and so were my guests.

You will need

4 large Green(or a mix of coloured) Bellpeppers/Capsicum, washed and cut into 1” strips

4 Onions chopped

2 Cups Tomato Puree

6 Green chillies (ground to a paste)

2 tsp Ginger Garlic paste

2 tsp Red chilli powder

1 tsp Cumin powder

2 tsp Corriander powder

¼ tsp Garam Masala powder

¼ cup Cashew bits

1 tsp white poppy seeds (Khuskhus)

2 tbsp Heavy whipping cream

2 tsp Butter

¼ cup Oil

Salt to taste

Soak cashew bits and khuskhus in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a non stick pan and saute chopped onions till soft. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for a minute. Add the bell pepper strips and ¼ tsp of salt. Saute for a couple of mintues and then add the tomato puree, green chill paste, coriander, cumin and red chilli powders. Add about a cup of water. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Let cook, for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally till bell peppers are soft and done. Now stir in the cashew-khuskhus paste, cream and the butter. The paste should help the gravy thicken. Lastly add in the Garam Masala. Let simmer for a few more minutes. Check for seasoning and serve hot.

I had made Chapthis/Rotis to go along with this. I had yellow and orange peppers on hand too, so those went in with the green bell peppers.

Cooking the capsicum in the puree with the other spices, gives it great flavour.The resulting gravy is very creamy and tasty too.

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