After a lovely dog walk at the weekend through the local woods with the paths covered in fallen leaves, I had a vision of an autumnal birch log layer cake that I want to make. It is adorned with baked goodies resembling the forest floor. Normally I focus on the flavour rather than the look, so this could be a challenge.
First I thought I would recreate the fallen leaves and tuile biscuits are a perfect option. These thin and crispy biscuits shape well when warm and taken on the shape of fallen leaves perfectly. I made a mixture of vanilla and then added some cocoa powder to mix the colours up a bit to get some autumn shades.
You need to be super quick shaping these as they come out of the oven as they set hard as they cool and will shatter if you try and bend them. I laid the cookies over a rolling pin and wrapped them around handles of wooden spoons. You can sneak them back in the oven for 30 seconds to warm them up if needed.
This tuile recipe would work just as well with the traditional round templates to make that classic French arched roof tile shape that these biscuits are named after.
You can make your own templates by cutting a shape out of the top of a plastic ice cream container lid. Search on YouTube or Google and you will find lots of guides and instructions. However I found a company that sells leaf tuile templates that work a treat.
So over the next few weeks I will be playing with a few more ideas before I make the whole cake.
Oven Temp: Gas 4, 350F, 180C (160C Fan)
65g plain flour
65g butter, melted and cool
60g icing sugar
2 large eggs, whites only
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan.
2. Gently mix the melted butter, sifted icing sugar and vanilla extract into a paste.
3. Lightly beat the eggs whites. Mix the eggs whites into the butter and sugar mixture.
4. Sift in flour and stir into a batter. Do not over mix.
5. Rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.
6. Line your baking sheets with baking parchment or a silicon mat. Put the tuile template on the mat.
7. Fill the template with the batter, then draw a palate knife across the template to level the tuile and remove surplus batter.
8. Bake for between 5-10 minutes until light golden brown.
9. Remove from the oven if you are making the traditional arched tile shape. Quickly remove from the baking tray and lay over a rolling pin. This has to be done when they are hot or they will crack as you try to shape them. If they are going too hard put them back in the oven for 30 seconds.