Thursday, January 29, 2009

January Daring Baker's Challenge

Due to extenuating circumstances [read: 300 pineapple tarts for Chinese New Year], I am completely and absolutely baked-out. So, its a blessing that this monthy's challenge is easily the simplest challenge yet in my 11 month stint as a Daring Baker. Even so, I almost didn't make it, despite simplifying the challenge down an almost embarrassing amount.

So, this month's challenge is to make Tuiles. Since I've made the traditional sweet ones before, I decided to go for a savory one, which is actually a molded parmesan crisp.

I know I'm suppose to give the recipe I used, but frankly speaking there is no recipe. Parmesan crisp is basically a small amount of grated parmesan spread to desired size on a baking sheet, baked til crisp. To make the bowl shapes, I lifted the baked crisps into muffin tins and pressed down, then allow them to cool.

As for the filling, the challenge is to fill it with something fruity. I was going to make a fruit salad, but pineapple tarts intervined, and I filled it with dragon fruit instead, because I thought it was a really special fruit and would be nice to write a little about.

A dragon fruit is actually the fruit of a cactus plant, and as far as I know, tropical and comes mostly from Thailand. Its called a dragon fruit because of its scale-like leaves. It comes in two variety, the white kind like the one I have, and a deep fuschia one, almost exactly like the colour of tge skin, except a couple shade darker. The fruit itself is extremely succulent and juicy, and had a mild taste and frangance.

Getting to the fruit is a little tricky. Dragon fruits should be treated like mangoes, except they don't have the pesky seed in the middle. The skin have to be peeled off the meat, just like how mango skin is peeled off the fruit.

Last and most important thing about this challenge: DO NOT use pre-grated parmesan to make crisps. Perhaps because they are grated too finely, so that they are more like parmesan powder than grated parmesan, the pre-packaged ones are so dry they can't melt, and thus can't cohere, and finally can't crisp but burn instead. Thank goodness I had some left-over grated parmesan in my fridge.

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.


Anonymous said...

Great idea to use the beautiful dragonfruit! I learned my lesson about NOT using finely grated parmesan cheese for crisps last year, with 25 people

Great job all around!

Sara said...

Ooooh, so pretty! Gorgeous photos. :)

Anonymous said...

Great pictures of the frico and with the dragonfruit! I can only imagine how the two paired together. Yum.

Dragon said...

Well you knonw I'm going to love the Dragon fruit. :) Your tuiles turned out lovely. Great job on this month's challenge.

Candice said...

Dragonfruit is so tasty, great idea pairing it with your tuiles!

Sheri said...

Wow! That's cool. I'd like to try a dragonfruit. I've never even seen one!

Jackie said...

Oh wow, I'm so glad my blog is next to yours on the blogroll otherwise I would have never have found such a treasure! I LOVE DRAGON FRUIT! Just wish I could have some here! Happy New Year!

TeaLady said...

I've made these. They make GREAT little bowls and additions to salad. Dragon Fruit. HHHUUMM!!! Interesting. They look good.