She who dares bakes...Tuiles

In the midst of the doom and gloom there were tuiles.

Yes, when the weight of the world is on your shoulders, there's something satisfying about these light little biscuits. No multi-layer chocolate cakes this month, just simple vanillary goodness paired with something fruity (you know its January when a DBer recipe instructs you to use fruit.)The beauty of these biscuits is that you can bend them, shape them, any way you want them. Think hearts, butterflies, pipes and baskets. Beautiful. I decided to craft biscuit baskets to hold a slightly-less-healthy-than-a-fruit-salad banoffee filling. Yum.

The tuiles were flavoured with vanilla sugar. Lucky girl that I am, I was given a jar of sugar packed with Madagascan vanilla (thanks N!) and it scented my tuiles to perfection.

The batter was a doddle to make and even the shaping wasn't as tricky as I feared. The most difficult thing was to spread the batter thinly enough so the biscuits ended up crispy rather than spongy.

For the filling I took perfectly innocent bananas:

and combined them with cream and crumbled meringue:

and homemade toffee sauce (I promise the bananas are still in there):

and a sprinkle of toasted pecans:

I would definitely make the tuiles again. I'd like to make narrow tubes dipped in chocolate and served as a petit-four. There's definitely scope for a savoury cone filled with avocado and prawns too...

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.

Happy New Year

I love 1st January. The fresh start, the promise of reinvention, the sense that this will be the year that everything falls into place. The excitement normally wears off once February rolls in and everything is same old, same old but, at the moment, I'm enjoying the sense of optimism.

Given that this is time for a new start, I created the mosaic above. There were so many things I didn't have the time to share but that are worthy of a picture. The Christmas markets in Cologne, my friend's wedding in French Guyane, chickens at my sister's house in Scotland. All of them should have had their own post but I didn't have the chance to do them justice and, unfortunately, I can't carry them over into my fresh new year. They're simply too 2008!

I'll leave you with one of the cakes I made for my birthday tea in September. Well, we need a reminder of something rich and chocolatey amidst all the January austerity. Wishing you all a very happy, successful and peaceful 2009.