Having too much choice can be a nightmare. As a kid I occasionally had a day-dream about me going to a toy shop with my grandparents and them telling me to pick a toy. I could choose whatever toy I wanted but only one of them. And I only had a few minutes to choose. Which one to pick? So many choices... and so little time! When Roselle aka Ladygoat announced the theme of this IMBB edition my feelings quickly turned from "what a cool idea!" to "shit! what should I pick?" Picking the color orange as a common thread for this edition of Is My Blog Burning? was an original idea, and a feasible one. Think if she had picked black: you can only do so many things with squid ink, licorice and charcoal. Orange is one of those colors that seems just to tell you "eat me!", warm and inviting without being associated with danger as orange's bigger brother, red, inevitably is.
In the end what made the decision easier was the choice of ingredients, or rather, the lack of it. No pumpkin available anymore, and still too cold for apricots and cantaloupes. The mangos and papayas on sale were hard as rocks and probably as tasty. Carrots would have been the obvious options, but, as much as I like them raw, I can't really say to be a big fan of the orange root cooked in any form. So in the end I grabbed a bag of organic oranges and decided this was finally the chance to try something from Desserts by Pierre Herme: orange tuiles. You might have come across standard tuiles, very thin "cookies" of sugary dough often used as decoration in desserts. These orange ones seemed on the other hand to be something different. Instead of the usual cookie-like look, the ones in the book's picture looked like extremely thin nets of sugary filigree. I just had to give them a try.
I tried the recipe twice, tuning it slightly to fit my oven and to slightly reduce the butter content since the first batch ended leaving quite a bit of extra butter on the baking sheet when ready. Below you'll find the slightly modified version of the recipe that worked best for me. The tuiles, both batches, tasted great, closer to orange flavored caramels than to standard tuiles, and incredibly crunchy (and fragile!). As Herme says, they're great served alongside a demitasse of good espresso, but they're so nice that I wished I had a whole chips-like bag of them I could munch on.
adapted from Pierre Herme's recipe
the grated zest of one orange
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tb all purpose flour
2 1/2 Tb orange juice (fresh if possible)
6 Tb melted unsalted butter
Add the grated zest to the sugar and rub till the sugar absorbs all the aromatic oils and turns moist and yellow. In succession, add flour, juice and butter, stirring till well mixed. Cover tightly with wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat your oven at 140C. Take about 1/2 tsp of dough and spread it thin on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment trying to shape it into a thin round. Leave 4-6 cm between each tuile (they spread out during baking).
Bake for about 12-14 minutes till they start to brown and the honeycomb pattern becomes evident. Remove from the oven and prepare to transfer them to a second parchment lined sheet (if you wish to have flat tuiles) or to a parchment lined wine bottle or rolling pin (for curved tuiles. The original recipe suggest to transfer the tuiles as soon as they get out of the oven: don't. You need to wait 30 seconds to a minute before you can transfer them without them falling apart in the process. Don't wait too long though, especially if you want to curve them, they tend to become hard quickly.
While the first batch is cooking you can prepare the next one, and keep the baking sheet that's ready in the fridge. The dough keeps for about a week, so you can make it and bake tuiles when you need them or feel like them.
P.S. Just a curiosity about the theme choice Ladygoat: does your theme have any connection with the Ukranian Orange revolution?