After spending a delightful Easter weekend traveling home to my family, I’m finally beginning to feel that spring has truly arrived! The April Daring Bakers’ challenge attests to this feeling.
The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!
Never having been particularly talented at making edible containers, I decided to attempt vanilla tuiles, a rich cookie, shaped quickly while warm out of the oven. I wanted to go for a flower effect, to fill with maple mousse and rhubarb compote. After several failed attempts, I finally witnessed a success. I then dipped the vanilla tuiles in a colored sugar to give the edges a bit of color.
The Daring Bakers gave two options for maple mousse; I chose the vegan option, since working with gelatin does not really interest me. I did let my mousse chill for about 24 hours until it was quite firm, and then cut it into little bunny shapes.
The rhubarb was inspired by the beginning of rhubarb season here; in fact I just picked up a rhubarb plant finally, so I can begin growing my own! The compote has a bit of an orange hint, given that I used an orange syrup still lying around from last Christmas. This was an excellent use, and a great adventure in testing new kitchen ingredients and techniques.
Vanilla Tuiles, adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 7 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Tbs. milk
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with a rack in the center. Combine the egg whites and sugar in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, beat until frothy, about 30 seconds.
2. Beat in the flour and salt. Add the butter, milk, and extract; beat until combined. Spoon a couple heaping tablespoons of the batter onto a baking sheet. Using the back of a spoon, spread the butter into a very thin large oval. Repeat, making three more ovals on the sheet.
3. Bake just until brown around the edges, about 5 minutes, but watch carefully for coloring. Meanwhile, prepare the second baking sheet. Working quickly, use an offset spatula to transfer a tuile over a small drinking glass, or a container of your choice, to create a bowl. You can use your fingers to give it a wavy effect. Place on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining cookies. If they get too stiff, return the baking sheet to the oven for about 30 seconds. Repeat until all the batter is used.
4. Once cookies are cool, dip edges in colored sugar. Store in an airtight container for two to three days.
Vegan Maple Mousse
• 1 package (12 oz.) soft silken tofu
• ¾ cup (14 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup
• 2 tsp agar-agar
1. Let tofu come to room temperature. Using a food processor, blender, or hand mixer, blend tofu until just smooth.
2. Sprinkle agar-agar on the maple syrup and let it rest for 10 minutes. Heat maple syrup on the stove to a boil and then let it simmer 5 minutes until the agar-agar has dissolved.
3. In a food processor, blender, or a large bowl, blend the tofu with the maple syrup until creamy.
4. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Remove from the fridge, cut into shapes, and divide among your edible containers.
- 1/2 lb. rhubarb
- 1/2 cup Orange Syrup
- 1/4 cup water