tuile we meet again.

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It’s Daring Bakers time and, as usual, participating has afforded me the opportunity to try something new, tuiles!

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.

That said, since I’m an alternative Daring Baker making vegan tuiles, I did not use the recipe provided. Thanks to the intrepid baker behind the awesome VeganYumYum blog, however, I didn’t have to invent my own tuile recipe either. If you don’t know VeganYumYum you should check it out – it’s really great! It’s well-written, filled with great recipes and tons of beautiful photography. You can find the VeganYumYum recipe for vegan tuiles here.

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These took me about 3 hours to make. The batter is easy to whip up. The baking part is rather slow-going. This is because you really can’t make more than 2 or 3 tuiles at a time. The reason for this is that you have a narrow window of time (we’re talking 30 seconds maybe) to shape the tuiles after they come out of the oven.

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The way it works is you make a cardboard template in any shape you like (I made butterflies), lay it over a sheet of parchment on your baking sheet, and spread the batter inside your cutout. You then lift the template up to reveal your batter in the desired shape. Then it goes in the oven. When they come out you have to work fast to bend them the way you’d like them to be. Since I was making butterflies, I wanted the wings to bend upwards. Needless to say I burned my fingers, something we were warned about. It’s a necessary sacrifice.

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For me, the most tedious aspect of making these was using a dull x-acto knife to cut out my template. It took me about 20 minutes of suffering to realize my dull blade could be popped out and replaced by the shiny, sharp new one beneath. It wouldn’t be a Daring Bakers post if I didn’t say the following phrase: you live, you learn.

I melted some gorgeous Italian dark chocolate, so decadent, and used a small artist’s brush to paint some of the butterflies. I left some naked. Others were embellished with some French chestnut spread, one of my absolute favourite indulgences – so sweet.

I new I wanted to pair my tuiles with vegan ice cream and that’s exactly what I did, dishing out several scoops of chocolate and maple. Place a few butterlies on top and voilà, un dessert extraordinaire. My hubby (who was there to eat the props after the photos were taken) enthusiastically declared that a dessert like this would cost $50 in a nice restaurant. Now I don’t know about $50 sweetie, but I’ll take that as a compliment.

Be sure to check out all the stunning tuile examples on the Daring Bakers blogroll.

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latchkey lime pie.

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I’ve been slobbering over this lime pie at PPK Blog ever since it was posted. I bought the limes. They sat in the fridge. They spoiled. I bought the limes again. This time I actually got around to making the elusive pie and I’m chuffed that I did. If you’re not familiar with PPK Blog (the blog at Post Punk Kitchen), by the by, get you’re food-loving butt over there. It’s run by the brilliant minds behind Veganomicon, Vegan With a Vengeance, and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. There are oodles of recipes to be found and it’s a great resource.

I found out from vegansaurus! that today is National Pie Day - how apropos!

Like Isa, I used a store bought crust . I had the cookie crust type on hand and it wasn’t bad. Next time I make this pie I’ll be making my own cookie crust and I’ll be making it über thick. This pie is very tangy and a nice thick cookie crust would go very nicely indeed. Also, a creamy topping would likely be brilliant. I didn’t have time this time around but I suspect a pillowy sweet topping of some sort would complement the tanginess quite nicely.

I like this pie – it’s definitely limey, very tangy, and has the consistency of a pana cotta – nice and creamy. And no tofu, which I wasn’t expecting. Instead, the pie is largely made up of coconut milk. Agar takes care of the setting. Have I mentioned how much I appreciate Agar? I lurve it.

If you’re a lime person I think you’ll like it. You can find the recipe here. Hey, it’s National Pie Day – enjoy a slice or two.

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w.i.p. wednesday: chandelier.

W.I.P. (Work In Progress) Wednesday is the brainchild of the fabulously creative Shellyfish of Musings From The Fishbowl.

Shellyfish wanted to create, in her words, a fun and stress-free opportunity for us to share whatever our crafty little selves have been working on with the rest of the blogging community. She invited us to showcase a project we’re just beginning, working on, or completed. I particularly loved the idea that the project can be in any medium and requires no particular skill level. Best of all – this little Wednesday date will be a nice reminder to myself to actually get back to a lot of the crafty projects that get put on the back burner for whatever reason. You know how life tends to get in the way of creativity sometimes. Sure enough, I almost missed today’s posting. I was determined, however, to get this little project started.

It’s all about this vintage chandelier that’s currently hanging in my dining room. A little history: My grandmother gave it to me over a year ago when we first moved in to our new house. It used to hang in her house and she had taken it with her when she moved however she no longer had use for it and gave it to me. Well it stayed in a box at my place for nearly a year. I knew I wanted to refinish the chandelier – paint it, make it a bit more modern – it was a dated brassy colour but it had beautiful scroll detail and the real crystals are exquisite. So when we had an electrician coming over to take care of another job in the house I remembered the chandelier in the box. But I didn’t want to put it up as it was – so while the electrician worked in another room, I frantically spray painted the chandelier in the matte black that I had purchased for that very purpose. So the chandelier finally went up.

While the matte black was an improvement over the brass, I knew it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind: it was a little too modern, too graphic for the space. I resolved to refinish it one day soon. This time I wanted to take it in the opposite direction: antique white. The materials were bought and set aside. The project lay in wait until Shellyfish provided me with the appropriate motivation to get it done (thanks Shel!). Here are some photos to give you an idea of where I’m headed.

The chandelier as it appears now, a matte black:

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This is a detail of a cake stand that I have that is similar to the colour I’m going for, a warm antique white:

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The goal of course is to get this done by next Wendesday – or the one after that to be sure. I’ll try to take some step-by-step photos to make it interesting. Thanks again to Shellyfish for starting this cool event – and be sure to check out the other great projects too.