Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Millefeuille of Chocolate Tuiles and Apple Snow

Chele of Chocolate Teapot has chosen apples as the ingredient to combine with chocolate for this month’s We Should Cocoa Challenge. I made a torte containing chocolate and apples for the challenge in September so I wanted to do something a little different this time. After a bit of personal food excess in October, I also wanted to make something fairly light. The idea of this dessert is to create something that looks quite substantial but is actually so light that looking at it in the wrong way will make it float away.

It’s  not really a millefeuille, you need puff pastry for that, but I can invent fancy names with the best of them.  Nor is it a particularly difficult dish to make but it does require a delicate touch and, to be honest,  I’m not sure that’s really my strong point. The amount given should serve 4 although I made big millefeuilles for sharing between two people.
Millefeuille of Chocolate Tuiles and Apple Snow
I freely admit that I stole borrowed the idea of the wavy chocolate tuiles from the chef Geoffrey Haxaire of the Auberge Frankenbourg. (No I haven’t been there – it’s a bit out of my price range.) The apple snow, on the other hand, is a very old British recipe. It’s in Mrs Beeton but there are versions of ‘snows’ in much earlier cookbooks such as ‘The Accomplisht Cook’ published in 1660. Most early versions of ‘snows’ include whipped cream and adding some cream to this apple snow will make the dish easier to put together but at the expense of some of its lightness.

You can make tuiles by spreading the mixture onto lined oven trays in a freehand way but if you want to make regular shapes then you need a template of some kind. For these tuiles I used a long rectangular shape cut out of a piece of silicone baking sheet. Silicone will give you a reusable template but a clean piece of card will do for one-off use. Ideally you need something around 2mm thick.

If you want to bend or curl the tuiles, then you need to do this as soon as they come out of the oven. To make the wave shape, prepare an uneven surface for the tuiles to rest on while they cool; I used a flexible silicone baking sheet with a couple of wooden spoons under it to make the wavy surface.

You can make the tuiles well ahead of time, even the day before; they keep pretty well in an airtight container. The snow is also made a few hours ahead of time so that it can chill thoroughly before use. BUT don’t put the whole thing together until just before serving – it’s too delicate for standing round.
Millefeuille of Chocolate Tuiles and Apple Snow
For the chocolate tuiles:
     95 g caster sugar
     50 g plain flour
     2 tbsp cocoa powder
     2 egg whites
     60 g butter, melted
For the apple snow:
     600 g Bramley apples
     Zest of ½ lemon, very finely chopped
     1 tbsp lemon juice
     2 tbsp water
     125 g caster sugar (you may need a little more or less – see the method)
     3 egg whites
A little white chocolate, melted to decorate the top

First make the tuiles. Prepare a couple of oven trays by lining them with non-stick baking paper or silicone sheets. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Whisk the sugar, flour, cocoa powder and egg whites together thoroughly. (I really wouldn’t do this by hand – it needs quite a bit of whisking). Pour in the melted butter and continue whisking for a minute or so until thoroughly combined and slightly thickened.

Place your template onto one of the lined baking sheets and fill with the mixture. You’ll need to smooth the mixture out with the template still in place – a palette knife is ideal. Continue until the baking sheets are full or the mixture is used up and place in the oven for 8 minutes.

Carefully lift the tuiles off the baking sheets and either allow to cool flat or gently shape them using your prepared wavy surface. Once they’re thoroughly cool, lift the tuiles carefully and store in an airtight container until needed.

To make the apple snow, peel, core and slice the apples. Put into a saucepan with the water, lemon zest and juice. Place the pan on a low heat, cover and cook the apples, stirring regularly, until they break down into a purée. This will take something like 15 – 20 minutes of gentle cooking. Take the pan off the heat and beat in the sugar with a wooden spoon. I used 125 g of sugar but it’s best to taste and add as much as you think it needs since the apples can vary a fair bit in sharpness. Set aside to cool and then chill in the fridge. (If there are some bits of apple that just don’t want to break down, then pass the purée through a sieve.) Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gently fold in the cold apple purée. Chill the snow until needed.

To serve, place a flat tuile on a serving plate, spoon on a layer of snow and carefully top with a wavy tuile. Repeat, finishing with a straight tuile on top. Decorate with a small drizzle of white chocolate and serve at once.

15 comments:

  1. How yummy is this:) Chocolate always;)
    p.s I have a great giveaway on my blog.Only till 23rd Novembar.usefull Master cookies maker;).Ope for everyone

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  2. This looks really amazing, Phil! I imagine that you'd get the purity of both the chocolate and the apple flavour coming through very well.

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  3. how fancy is this?!?!... it looks stunning and I love the combinations of texture... genius my little friend x

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  4. Oh Yum! and this looks so fancy too. Such beautiful combination of apples and chocolate.

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  5. I think this dessert is very inspiring! First of all tuiles are so versatile and combining them with apples is very original! Love them both, the tuiles and the filling!

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  6. I am in love with this dessert, I think I would love to make it with puff pastry (simply because I just can't do delicate :-)) But just the idea of apple snow makes my mouth water, how gorgeous would it be in a, say, Christmas trifle?

    Its not like I don't have the apples :-) Thanks for posting this recipe up Phil, this is definitely a winner in my book!

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  7. Oh wow! This looks stunning and sounds mouthwatering! Now I have a serious chocolate craving! Fantastic, Phil!

    Have a splendid weekend,
    Tammy

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  8. That looks amazing. I've made apple snow before, but never thought of using it as a filling for mille feuille. Nice ideas and so pretty and delicate.

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  9. this looks absolutely wonderful!! I love it!!

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  10. Oooh its pretty and delicate!

    Love the idea of making it to share, though I would probably scoff the lot :)

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  11. Oh Phil, this looks absolutely stunning. It really does look so light and airy but oh so delicious. The waves give an added air of stylishness to the proceedings. I haven't had apple snow since I was a child and had completely forgotten about it until now. Thank you for your continued and much appreciated participation.

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  12. Oh man Phil - this wins my vote for this months challenge - looks utterly delicious.

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  13. I am going to echo everyone else and say this is absolutely stunning! I've never made tuiles before and I love the name apple snow. Must bookmark this to try.

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