Thursday, January 16, 2014

Saffron Tuiles With Saffron & Pistachio Diplomat Cream

And I am still enamored with tuiles! I had planned to make saffron tuiles with a creamy filling as one of the desserts for hubby's birthday. Made the batter with a generous pinch of the precious strands from my new box of saffron. Much to my disappointment,  I could not detect the aroma of saffron in it. Bah! The batter was promptly chucked into the fridge. A day and a half later, I baked the tuiles anyway. The flavor and the aroma they exuded made me fall in love with tuiles all over again! All the saffron needed was a good soak!

I wasted no time in making some saffron and cardamom pastry cream, lightened it with some whipped cream. A drop of rose essence and some sliced pistachios to finish. Think really creamy kesar -pista kulfi filled in dainty saffron wafers. Traditional Indian dessert flavors fill the French cookies in this easy, make-ahead dessert, Saffron Tuiles With Saffron And Pistachio Diplomat Cream.

For The Saffron Tuiles (makes about 40 tuiles, depending on size and shape)

Unsalted Butter - 45 grams /  3 tablespoons, melted and still very warm
Sugar - 130 grams / 2/3 cup / 4.625 oz    approximately
Egg whites, large - 90 grams/ 3 large
All Purpose Flour - 60 grams / 1/4 cup 3 tablespoons
Saffron strands - 1/2 heaping teaspoon, crushed (or more)
Crushed cardamom - 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
Salt - 1/8 teaspoon
Yellow gel color - a streak or two, use very carefully (optional)
More butter to grease the pan liners

Equipment -
Baking trays or pans or cookie sheets, heavy duty aluminum foil dull side up. Small cups, small box (like you smallest box of baking powder) rolling pin for shaping. A cooling rack.

Procedure:  If baking cookies right away, preheat oven to 150 degrees C / 300 degree F. If baking cookies later, just mix the batter as mentioned below. I highly recommend resting the batter overnight to get the best of the saffron aroma and flavor.

If you would be using foil, measure the size needed to line your tray or pan. Cut carefully making sure you do not cause major creases. If there are any small creases smooth it out. Wrinkles will mar the appearance of the cookies. Line your pan(s) foil dull side up. Using a silicon brush, grease the foil with butter lightly  but thoroughly. I used my 9'' square tin. I could bake 2 at a time. So be warned, you will need patience to bake these in batches if using a small oven. Quarter the recipe if patience is not among your virtues.

  • Stir the saffron in the very warm butter. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients till well blended. This won't be like regular cookie batter, rather spoon- able. Let the batter rest for at least 10 minutes or keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Overnight will bring out the flavor of saffron better. The batter firms up slightly on refrigerating.
  • Drop level teaspoons of batter 2 inches apart on the prepared foil. Using the back of a spoon, spread the batter evenly in strips or in 2 1/2 inch rounds or oval or other shape. This will look almost translucent. If using multiple trays, you could spread the batter and keep the trays in the oven one by one. A test batch of one or two will tell you the right amount of batter for the shape and size of cookies you need. 
  • Bake cookies of similar shapes and sizes using the same amount of batter for each batch to get the same results. Don't forget to note down the baking time. The cookies will be really crisp when cool and will be delicate enough to shatter even with gentle pressure.
  • Bake for about 10-11 minutes. The time depends on the thickness of the cookies. Watch very carefully, bake till the cookies are golden brown half or three quarters way to the center, but still pale in the center. I baked the cookies till they turned golden all over. If the cookies are not baked thoroughly, they won't be completely crisp when they cool. But be careful not to burn them. Rotate pans if using a large oven and multiple sheets. I baked for about 11 minutes. 
  • Remove the cookies sheets or pans from the oven and set them down, let cool completely. Carefully lift the entire foil with the cookies out.Very carefully and gently, peel the foil from underneath the tuiles. Set the cookies down very gently on a tray or airtight flat box if you don't want to shape them. 
  • After baking all of the cookies, keep your rolling pin or cup or little box (to make cylinders) right beside the oven if you want to curve it. You won't have time to turn, go to the table and then shape. Very gently put one cookie at a time on the sheet and then in the oven (at 150 C)  for 40-60 seconds till it becomes very soft and flexible. Then shape. They harden very very quickly as in a matter of 4-5 seconds, so its really important that you work very quickly.  So timing is the most important thing.
  • They will be really really delicate, so handle the cookies with care. Store in an airtight container. Alice says they can be airtight for at least a month.

Saffron, Cardamom And Pistachio Diplomat Cream - Makes about 2.5 cups

Whole milk - 2 cups / 480 ml
Saffron strands - 1/2 teaspoon, heaping
Cardamom, crushed - 1/2 teaspoon
Rose essence (or rosewater, read note) - 2 drops
Egg yolks - 108 grams / 6 large
Granulated sugar - 1/4 cup / 50 grams
All-purpose flour  - 48 grams - 6 tablespoons
Unsalted butter - 30 grams / 2 tablespoons
Pistachios, sliced - 1/2 cup
Sweetened whipped cream, chilled - 1 - 1.5 cups or as needed , read note
A tiny tiny streak of yellow gel color (optional) 


  • Suspend a fine meshed strainer over a medium sized heat proof bowl. Set this near your stove. Have a spatula ready nearby.
  • In a medium sized saucepan, combine the milk, saffron and cardamom. Heat till just before the boiling point. Turn off the heat. Cover. Let infuse for at least half an hour. After half-an-hour heat again and bring to a boil.
  • In the bottom of another medium sized heavy saucepan, off the heat, beat or whisk the egg yolks, rose essence and 1/4 cup sugar.  Whisk in the flour until fully incorporated.
  • Whisking all the time, using a small ladle, drizzle the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, just a tiny bit at a time. Very gradually, add all the milk. Do not rush this process. 
  • Bring the saucepan to your stove and heat it over low heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. Once bubbling and fairly thick, remove it from the heat. Do not heat for very long as the cream will turn very thick and tough to press through the sieve. Immediately stir in the butter until combined, without waiting, press through the strainer (a workout!)
  •  Press cling wrap to the surface, chill till needed. You could refrigerate this for up to 3 days.
  • Gently fold in the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream. Add the color if needed. Stir in the pistachios. Keep this covered and chilled until serving time.
  •  Just before serving, fill in the tuile cups or cylinders. Garnish with fresh rose petals and serve immediately.

Please note : Good quality saffron gives great flavor. Use rose essence very very carefully as even a drop more can be excessive. The smell must be there but not quite. Use food grade rosewater  if you can find it. I have used sweetened whipped cream so the sugar in the pastry cream has been reduced greatly. If using unsweetened cream for whipping, increase the sugar in the pastry cream. I have used pastry cream and whipped cream in the ratio of 2:1. Vary it as you like.

You could try adding some sliced pistachios in the tuiles batter as well if you don't want to shape them. I did not add as it would be difficult to shape.

The amount of pastry cream you will need depends on the number and size of tuiles. 

Endless possibilities, so easy, love, love tuiles! Expect to see more of these here, later if not very soon!


divya said...

Delicious, Drooling here

Archana Kumar said...

Looks divine ! You have mastered tuiles Suma, these look perfect !

Hari Chandana P said...

OMG.. looks absolutely amazing and tempting.. awesome job dear :)

FunFoodandfrolic said...

Hi Suma,

Long time back read about you in Deeba's post and since then was wandering who is this talented blogger in Bangalore....amazing recipes and great clicks!!

Top Cuisine avec Lavi said...

Great recipe!
Looks awesome!