This is my favourite way of using up surplus egg whites. They are time-consuming and fiddly to do, but they keep for ages in an airtight tin, and are a way of filling up a rainy Sunday afternoon. They make an elegant accompaniment for ice cream, but they go well with other fruity/creamy desserts too. You can also make little baskets by forming them in cups, or small tart tins, and fill with fruit. This quantity makes about 20-25.

3 egg whites
60 g unsalted butter, melted
100 g icing sugar
100 g plain flour
few drops vanilla essence (optional)

Whisk together the egg whites and sugar till smooth, then whisk in the flour till just blended. Add the melted butter and vanilla and blend lightly but thoroughly. Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, get yourself organised. Preheat the oven to 200C (180 fan oven), and lightly grease a baking tray, preferably non-stick. Get out a cooling rack, a teaspoon, a glass of cold water, a fork, a rolling pin, and a spatula or flat slice.

When ready to cook, drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking sheet, placing well apart. It’s not advisable to try to do more than 6 at a time, because you need to work quickly when they come out of the oven. Use the wet fork to spread the mixture out thinly into circles about 6-7cm across. You’ll need to keep wetting the fork as the mixture tends to stick.

Put in the oven and cook for 7 minutes. The tuiles should be a nice golden brown round the edges and still pale in the middle. Don’t overcook!

When they are ready take the tray out, lift each tuile off with the spatula, and fold it over the rolling pin (asbestos fingers are useful here!) to make a curved shape. They harden quickly as they cool, that’s why you have to work fast. Re-grease the tray if necessary and repeat with the rest of the mixture, moving the tuiles from the rolling pin to the cooling rack as you go along.

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