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:
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:
Step 3: Grease the rolling pin
Next I greased a rolling pin by spreading butter on it with a piece of kitchen paper:
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:
Next, I stirred the vanilla essence into the mixture:
Then, I stirred in the flour in increments:
Finally, I added the cooled, melted butter and stirred it in:
Here is the 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:
After spooning the mixture, I used a fork to flatten the biscuit:
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:
Step 7: Sprinkle biscuits with almonds
Finally, I used my fingers to sprinkle almonds onto the biscuits:
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!:
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:
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!:
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:
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:
Will fancied positioning the biscuits like roof tiles, so I let him have a play at doing this (men do like constructing things, hey!):
Here are some more pictures of the almond tuiles:
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!