Tuile: Delicate, delicious flowers from flour

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Looking for a new and beautiful way to show someone you love them? Tired of sending roses or a box of chocolates? Why not make edible, delicate flowers filled with chocolate that will delight the eye and the taste buds. You’ll be earning some major hugs and kisses, that’s for sure.

I’ll be honest. My husband and I have been married for 20 years now, and we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. No cards, no flowers. Maybe a small box of chocolates for my daughter and I to share but that’s it. Oh, believe me the love and caring is still there. He clears the snow off my car, keeps me stocked in funny socks, and shows that I’m special in a thousand different ways each day. It’s just that I can’t see making him dress up in uncomfortable clothes to take me out to dinner where we’d both think we had to say wondrous and magically romantic things all evening, instead of curling up together with some homemade pizza and a good mystery movie and enjoying it a whole lot more.

Once in awhile though, I want to go all out and make a show-stopping dessert that will knock those colorful socks right off, and this bouquet of chocolate mousse-filled tulle fits the bill.

First of all, how do you even say that word tuile? It’s pronounced tweel, rhymes with wheel. Tuile are very thin, vanilla-flavored cookies made from a thin batter, spread onto parchment and baked for just a few minutes. Traditionally they’re draped over a round shape, with the resulting cookie resembling an old Mediterranean roofing tile. Think very, very upscale, sweet Pringles.

Tuile are a favorite of pastry chefs, as they can be formed in so many different shapes and can even be spread over stencils to make individual unique cookies. I’ve seen tuile “coffee cups” filled with mousse and served with a tuile spoon. Tuile cigars are popular, too.

I won’t kid you, these are delicate to work with and some breakage will occur, but you’ll be very surprised and pleased at how easy it is to work with the batter and how incredible the taste and texture of these wafers is. You could even just bake them flat, no extra shaping, and you’ll have fans clamoring for more.

Let’s make some Tuile.

Start by measuring out 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (3 5/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar. Sift these together twice and place in a medium-sized bowl.

Why the double sifting? Two main reasons. You want the flour light and fluffy to incorporate easily, and you want no little lumps and bumps to interfere with the smoothness of the batter.

To the sifted flour, add 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, 4 large egg whites, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

This would also be an excellent place to use a drop or two of Fiori di Sicilia, or any of our extra-strong flavors. I’m an almond fan myself; a drop or two of orange oil is exquisite, as well.

Whisk the batter slowly until it’s smooth and lump-free. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl a few times. Cover and set aside in the fridge for at least 60 minutes, but no longer than 2 hours.

While the batter is resting and hydrating, prepare your tools for shaping. You can use small ovenproof ramekins, the backs of muffin tins, or for taller blooms, I like to use a shot glass. Spritz it well with cooking spray; this will keep your tuile from sticking.

About 15 minutes before you want to bake, preheat your oven to 400°F. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper.

Why one pan and not two? Tuile bake very quickly, and if you’re going to shape them, you need to work fast. The second tray of cookies will harden before you can get to them for shaping, so work with just one tray at a time.

Place a 1 1/4″ ball of batter on each end of the parchment paper. Leave LOTS of space! Our teaspoon scoop works very well for this.

Use a small offset spatula or even the back of a spoon to spread the batter into a circle about 5″ around. The batter should spread very smoothly, and be quite thin. You’ll need to test a couple of cookies and adjust the batter with a little milk if it’s too thick. This batter was just a wee bit thick.

This batter was just a touch too thin. The area where the words are in the photo is the perfect texture. You can almost see right through the batter, but not quite.

You can see that the moisture caused the parchment to wrinkle. Wrinkles are not a good thing; they’ll cause weak spots in your tuile.

Parchment is an excellent tool for this kind of baking, and you’ll need several sheets. Once you’ve baked one or two rounds on a sheet, it will naturally start to wrinkle and you’ll need to swap it out for a clean, fresh sheet. Save the used sheets, though; they’re fine to use for other baking that doesn’t require perfect sheets.

If you have a silicone baking mat, such as our cookie baking mat, those work wonderfully as well.

Bake the tuile for 4 to 5 minutes, or until barely golden brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and very quickly lift up the first tuile with a thin-edged spatula or knife. Quickly drape it over your shot glass and gently press down. **This will be VERY HOT!!** Move quickly and you should be fine; the tuile cool very fast.

See how these cookies didn’t quite drape beautifully and aren’t quite see-through? That means the batter is too thick, so adjust with a few drizzles of milk.

Remove the shot glass and let the tuile flower cool completely.

When you have several tuile done, arrange them carefully on a platter so that they support each other like a bouquet of flowers. Try not to hold them by their delicate edges or you’ll find the “petals” breaking off.

Fill each tuile with your choice of fillings. Light mousse really pairs well with the flaky cookies. I adore our chocolate mousse mix, but you can use whatever makes you happy.

Top each flower with a fresh raspberry or strawberry, tucking in fresh mint leaves if desired. This assembly step should take place no more than 20 minutes before serving, so that the tuile don’t get soggy from the filling.

You can serve individual tuile as well. Our simple pastry cream filling mix is a nice change from chocolate, and would be perfect for summer.

So now that you’re a tuile master, you can experiment with different shapes, fillings and toppings. How about a tuile bowl filled with coffee mousse for a pick-me-up? Tuile cigars rolled around the handle of a wooden spoon are delightful dipped in chocolate fondue or homemade ice cream. The possibilities are as boundless as your imagination.

Tuile we meet again, happy baking!

Please bake, rate and review our recipe for Tuile.

Print just the recipe.

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. jgreeno

    This reminds me a lot of the technique (and batter) used for fortune cookies. Of course, in the case of those, you’d slap a slip of paper in the middle and do the special fold instead of draping them over a glass.

    Interestingly, I used to have a fortune cookie recipe (it’s since been lost) that involved baking them on a stove top or electric griddle instead of in the oven. It’s a little more manageable because you work 2-3 at a time instead of a whole tray and you get finer control over doneness. I wonder if these could benefit from the same treatment.
    Hmm, I’ve never heard of stovetop cooking for tuille, but if you do come across info, I’d love to have you share it. I have yet to make fortune cookies at home, but wouldn’t THAT make a fun blog?! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  2. mumpy

    we’ve never gotten too excited about celebrating valentine’s day either, and like you, would much prefer soemthing yummy and homemade and a comfy night at home…besides, sounds to me like you’ve got plenty of romance in your life: he clears the snow off your car????…now that’s LOVE!
    Yeah, he’s a keeper all right. 43 years and counting! :) ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  3. JuliaJ

    What a cheery photo to brighten the morning! How about shaping the baked tuiles over the bottom side of a muffin (or mini-muffin) tin and then filling them with a half-size cupcake (or mini-muffin-size cupcake) (minus the cupcake papers) and topping with a fancy swirl of whipped cream, frosting….????

    This batter looks much lighter than fortune cookie batter but was thinking that your too-thick tuile could easily be shaped into an ethereal fortune cookie–just fold opposite edges together and crimp over a chopstick or bowl edge. Sometimes you can re-heat very briefly if the fortune cookies cool too much before you can shape them–does this work for tuiles?
    Hi Julia,
    I did do a couple of larger tuille cups, and I’ve seen a tuille bowl before, so you can definitely make many different sizes.
    For the re-heating, I didn’t try it, but it may be possible. You have to be careful because the tuille may brown too much, or be too delicate once they are formed, but it’s worth a try, right? :) ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  4. cejp

    These look like such fun! Can’t wait to try them! One question though… egg whites, not egg yolks? The egg whites in your photo look very yellow… just want to confirm!
    Yes, egg whites. I’ve been having issues with the lamps I use for lighting, especially yellow and green tones. Sorry for any confusion. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  5. Alexandra

    I’ve always been curious about tuille, but was always a bit intimidated by the process. Your instructions are so clear and made it seem so easy, I will definately give it a try. Can I make the tuille the day before I fill them or will the cookie go stale quickly?
    Hi Alexandra,
    I actually kept some of the tuille in a Tupperware container for 10 days, and they were still fresh and crisp. Humidity will play havoc with them, but a winter-dry kitchen was a good place for me. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  6. jenandjen2003

    MaryJane,

    They look wonderfully beautiful as well as delicious. Thank you for sharing this. I wonder, can it be made in advance? Say, in the eve of the party day?

    thanks, Jenny.

    Hi Jen,
    You could absolutely make the tuille even a couple of days ahead of time, then you can pipe the chocolate mousse in an hour or two ahead. The tuille will soften up on the bottoms, so keep utensils handy for serving. Enjoy! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  7. Irene in TO

    These French cookies are spelled tuile with one L.

    Useful to know if you are trying to use a search engine.

    You’re right, Irene – tuille is a word, but not the right word for these “tile” cookies. Thanks, I’ve fixed. PJH

    Reply
  8. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - Petrópolis, RJ, BRAZIL

    We are at middle of second month of this year of 2012 and where are the Bread recipes?????
    Only Pastry?
    King Arthur´s Baker´s Banter Blog is a fantastic way to be in tune and we´re always happiness with recipes posted here, but we need to criticize when we think the things are going wrong. Where´s the equilibrium between the Baking/Pastry ratio recipes????
    I must confess i´m really disapointed with this pastry, pastry, pastry, pastry recipes!!!
    And my Quindim pastry recipe didn´t on boarded yet!!!Ha,ha,ha!!

    Where are PJ Hamel? Is she in Holidays??
    Hope u understand my anxious about poor number of bread recipes. Just that one, of bread bowls in 2012???
    Do you need a baker???I´m a candidate to a job there!!Ha!ha!ha!

    Ricardo, no te preocupes, el pan estará de regreso! We’ve had King Cakes, bread bowls, no-knead pizza, Buffalo chicken pizza, and bread sticks since January 1. And we have four yeast-based recipes coming up later this month; and 4 or 5 in March, PLUS blog posts live from the Coupe du Monde (bread-baking Olympics) in Paris – so lots of bread to look forward to! Sometimes I wish I were in, oh, Aruba, when the temperature up here plummets, but no; I’m not on vacation, just branching away from my favorite (bread) for some variety. :) PJH

    Reply
  9. ebardes

    You may have found my quest for a desert served at a potluck. It must have been brought by the phantom because no one owned to bringing it. The big difference I think was, wanton ton skins were used and baked in a mini muffin tin before filling. I think I shall try this and see what happens.

    Reply
  10. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - Petrópolis, R.J. - BRAZIL

    PJ i was just kidding, i know pizza is considered a bread in itself. But i’m expecting traditional bread loaves, plus new breads. I hope i could bake new ones here next days!!
    I saw u was not on holidays ha!ha!, many posts from start of 2012 just kidding again.
    Well i wanna know about Brazilian Quindins? When it will be on board???
    And when you think really on holidays, consider visit Brazil, so far better then Aruba!!
    You could check it here at this fantastic Uchoa’s galleries
    http://www.pbase.com/alexuchoa
    Best wishes for all KAF’s staff!!

    Ricardo, the quindims are a rich pastry that might be an acquired taste for us North Americans; there are just SOOO many things to write about, it’s hard to fit it all in! As for bread – it’s my passion, and I’m in the midst of a no-yeast sourdough as we speak – so you’ll be seeing more breads in the future, for sure. Thanks for staying in touch – PJH

    Reply
  11. Dayna

    Oh Yummy! How does this compare to working with pizzelles? Also, I read the blog on easy lemon curd mixed with whipped cream, would this filling pair nicely with these?

    Tuiles are softer than pizzelle, as they will drape over the glass to shape the lovely flowers. The lemon curd may be a bit soft, but have great flavor for the flower centers! Enjoy the journey – Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  12. Cindy Leigh

    Im thinking a few drops of fiori might be wonderful here!
    And you know what might be great piped inside? Some salted caramel filling as in the recipe for macarons. My recipe is refrigerated after cooking, and beaten when cool. The consistency comes out like butter cream.
    Oh- how about some of PJ’s lemon curd with raspberries?
    Darn this diet!

    These are great ideas – a springboard for delicious baking to come! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  13. kaduncan09

    Can these be made in advance? I was thinking making for easter and filling right before serving. But didn’t know if I could make them a few days ahead?
    The tuiles can be stored for up to 10 days in an airtight container as long as they are unfilled. ~Amy

    Reply

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