Almond Tuiles

Compared to baking a lemon tart, baking almond tuiles was a rather pleasant and soothing experience! Last weekend I decided to bake these lovely, delicate biscuits. Interestingly, ‘tuiles’ means ‘roof tiles’ in French, and this is why the biscuits are curved, to resemble the curved roof tiles used in France. I followed Mary Berry’s recipe on page 520 of her book Mary Berry’s Complete Cookbook.

Making the Biscuits

Step 1: Gather the ingredients

First, I gathered together all of the ingredients. Here’s what I used:

  • 2 egg whites (from large eggs)
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 60 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 60 g unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
  • 30 g flaked almonds

To melt the butter, I heated some water in a pan and placed the butter in a bowl over the top, stirring it until it had melted. Then I left it to cool down:

Melting butter in a bain-marie
Ingredients (should have featured a 1/2 teaspoon here, and not a 1 teaspoon!)

Step 2: Line the baking tray

The next step is to line a baking tray with baking parchment. I decided to cut the baking parchment to the size of the tray, in order to prevent it from moving when spooning the biscuit mixture onto it. As the recipe makes 30 biscuits and you bake 6 at a time, I decided to cut out 5 separate pieces of baking paper for each bake, in case they got spoilt each time. On reflection, I don’t think this was 100% necessary, and I think you probably could reuse the same liner each time. I then secured the piece of parchment in the tray by spreading a blob of butter in each corner:

Tray lined with baking parchment

Step 3: Grease the rolling pin

Next I greased a rolling pin by spreading butter on it with a piece of kitchen paper:

Greasing the rolling pin

Step 4: Turn on oven

I turned on the fan oven to 160 degrees Celsius.

Step 5: Make biscuit mixture

First, I put the egg whites into a bowl and used my electric hand mixer to beat in the sugar until frothy. I added the sugar in increments, and it went frothy very quickly:

Beating sugar into egg whites

Next, I stirred the vanilla essence into the mixture:

Stirring vanilla essence into the mixture

Then, I stirred in the flour in increments:

Stirring in the flour

Finally, I added the cooled, melted butter and stirred it in:

Adding butter to the mixture

Here is the completed biscuit mixture:

Completed biscuit mixture

Step 6: Spoon biscuit mixture onto tray

The next step is to spoon the mixture onto the lined baking tray. As the recipe is supposed to make 30 biscuits, you need to put 6 teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the tray for each batch, making five batches in total. (At this point, I looked up the word ‘teaspoonful’ just to make sure I was spooning out the right quantity. A ‘teaspoonful’ is the amount of food or liquid that a teaspoon holds.) Remember to leave enough space between each one to allow for spreading:

6 teaspoonfuls of biscuit mixture per batch

After spooning the mixture, I used a fork to flatten the biscuit:

I flattened each biscuit using a fork

I used two spoons to place the mixture onto the tray. I think because of this, a few of my biscuits turned out bigger than they should have been because I ended up carrying a little extra mixture than the teaspoonful, when transferring the mixture from the bowl to the tray:

Using two spoons to place the mixture on the tray.

Step 7: Sprinkle biscuits with almonds

Finally, I used my fingers to sprinkle almonds onto the biscuits:

Sprinkle biscuits with almonds

Step 8: Bake biscuits

Having preheated the oven to 160 degrees Celsius, I checked to make sure the temperature was right. The recipe says to bake the biscuits for about 6 minutes until they are golden brown around the edges but still pale in the middle. I baked my biscuits in five batches, and ended up with 27 almond tuiles. I definitely made a few too big which is why I didn’t end up with 30 as per the recipe. It’s not a great idea to make the biscuits too big, as you then have a tight fit trying to fit them all on the rolling pin for shaping afterwards!

I baked the first batch for 7 minutes and the other four batches for 8 minutes each. I found that mine needed a bit longer than the estimated 6 minutes in the recipe, one reason being that the temperature in my oven seemed to drop down to 150 degrees Celsius at times. I also noticed that in general, the biscuits to the left of the tray didn’t go as golden around the edges as much as the ones on the right.

Here is a picture of one of my batches. As you can see, some turned out to be neat and round whereas others look a bit funky shaped!:

Baked almond tuiles

Step 9: Shape the biscuits

Once the biscuits were baked, I took the tray out of the oven and left them to cool for a few seconds. Then, using a fish slice, I lifted each biscuit and placed it on the greased rolling pin. Using my fingers, I moulded the biscuits to the rolling pin; this gives them the traditional curved shape . You need to be quite quick during this process so that the biscuits remain malleable enough to be moulded. I didn’t have a problem with this, but if you are not quick, I imagine the biscuits could snap very easily:

Lifting the almond tuile using a fish slice

Here is a batch of 6 almond tuiles shaped and resting on the rolling pin (along with my glamorous assistant Will’s thumb and fingers to hold it steady 🙂 ). I was very surprised by how smoothly this process went, and found this part really fun!:

Shaping the almond tuiles on a greased rolling pin

The rolling pin has a propensity to roll (unsurprisingly), so to ensure the lovely biscuits didn’t end up in a cracked mess on the floor, I placed a spoon to the side of the rolling pin to stop it moving:

Rolling pin with spoon to stop it moving

And so whilst one batch is resting on the rolling pin, you then prepare the next batch of biscuits on the tray and bake them. Between each batch, I regreased my rolling pin and changed my baking paper. I also washed up the two spoons that I used to place the biscuit mixture onto the tray, and the fork I used for flattening the biscuits as I found that they became claggy.

Step 10: Leave biscuits to cool

Just before the next batch was due to come out of the oven, I carefully removed the biscuits from the rolling pin, and left them to cool on a wire rack. You repeat this baking, shaping and cooling process until you have your complete set of almond tuiles! Here is a picture of my completed almond tuiles:

Completed almond tuiles!

Will fancied positioning the biscuits like roof tiles, so I let him have a play at doing this (men do like constructing things, hey!):

Almond tuiles lined up like roof tiles

Here are some more pictures of the almond tuiles:

Closeup of almond tuile
Base of almond tuile
Closeup of the almond tuiles
Another closeup of the almond tuiles!
Almond tuiles in a diagonal row
Almond tuiles on a plate
Almond tuiles in a tin

Verdict

I absolutely love almond, so I was pretty sure I would like these biscuits however they came out! Fortunately, they came out really well and they tasted yummy! They were crispy at the edges and chewy in the middle, although a few were a touch pale at the edges instead of golden brown, so perhaps some could have benefited from being baked a touch longer. On first looking at them, if you disregarded the almonds, the shape and colour reminded me a little of BBQ pringles crisps! The next day they were quite substantially more chewy and verging on tough, but they were still delicious (just take care not to break a tooth!).

What are you baking at the moment? It’s a big birthday of mine next week (I officially turn REALLY old), so I’m going to be baking myself a cake! Stay tuned!

Published by

Helena Davies

Baker and Linguist based in Cardiff, Wales.

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