tuile-ing
August 21, 2008

Please, please, please, somebody out there tell me you know the carefully guarded secret to tuile-rolling. Because obviously I'm not going to crack this on my own.

I've been baking and rolling tuiles for about three hours straight, and the photo at left is what I have to show for myself (other than burned fingertips, cookie crumbs stuck between my toes and a general sense of defeat). It seems clear to me that I must have missed some important step along the way because everyone else in class seems to produce at least passable tuiles without this kind of effort. Mine, however, end up too thick, too dry, too doughy, too browned, too hot, too sticky—and on. I wouldn't have thought one cookie could have such baggage.

Compared to other things I'm supposed to be prepared for, tuiles seems so minor—and yet I shudder to think about the meltdown I could have if I repeat another evening like this. I mean, these cookies aren't bad. They taste good and seem to cool down to the correct level of crispiness. But they will not go circular. For one thing, the cookies are hot. Even if I ended up with a batch that was both fully cooked and pliable (elusive on its own), I can't seems to maneuver it without my fingers instinctively retracting (and usually breaking off bits of cookie in the process). The next issue is that if the cookies are sufficiently browned, they crack when rolled. If they are slightly doughy in the middle...they stay slightly doughy in the middle—and also don't stay rolled.

Now I can give up and assume or pray that I won't get creme caramel (served with a plate of tuiles on a doily) for my midterm, but somehow that ceased to be the point at least an hour ago. How can I let this dainty little cookie with a silly name get the best of me? I will conquer!

It ain't over, tuile.

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