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I remember reading and watching videos about it, but haven't ever made it, and I also forgot the name. I want to learn some more of it, find the correct recipe, etc., but it is rather hard without the name as a starting point.

It is very simple, made with only egg whites and something else (flour, or cornstarch, or confectioner's sugar, I don't remember exactly which, or the correct ratio). It is baked in a very thin shape, often dripped in a pattern. When hot out of the oven, it has enough plasticity to be shaped per hand. It then cools in the shape it was given, making ornaments (out of the dripped patterns) or small basket-like shapes, for serving ice cream etc.

Does anybody have more info on it?

Update thank you for the great answers. I was able to find good ressources, mostly on searches for tuile, which seems to be the broader term (although hippenmasse alone would have helped too). The best information in English was available on http://www.pastrysampler.com/Questions_and_Answers/tuile.htm, if anybody is interested.

Update 2 I made the stuff according to a recipe from the link above, and they turned out just as I imagined them. Other SA members tried other recipes with less success, so I am posting the "known good" recipe here:

2 1/2 oz. powdered sugar // 70g
1 1/2 oz. flour // 45 g (slightly higher because with 40 g, it was too runny for piping) 
2 egg whites
1 1/4 oz. clarified unsalted butter // 35 g
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Sounds similar to a tuile. There's a little more to it that flour and egg white, but that's a good start; you'd also want some sugar, and probably some fat.

I have an example on http://blog.jagaimo.com/archive/2010/03/16/improvised-pumpkin-seed-tuiles.aspx with a few photos. I've also used the same basic batter to make little cups for ice cream, for which I generally crimp four ways over a small teacup. The batter generally loses plasticity very quickly out of the oven, so there's not much time to work.

A fortune cookie is made using a similar technique, though I think the dough has less fat.

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Both answers were great, but I found more info for tuiles than for hippenmasse, and the part on hippenmasse suggested that while a tuile batter is considered a kind of hippenmasse in Germany, the marzipan-containing hippenmasse is the "proper" one. That's why I accept this one. –  rumtscho Jul 13 '11 at 13:03
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I believe you're referring to hippen masse, which is piped out or dripped in a decorative shape, baked, and used for garnishing and fancy plating. My copy of On Cooking (4th Ed Labensky and Hause) gives a recipe for the savory version:

Savory Hippen Masse, Yield: 1 lb (450 g) Source: Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix AZ

  • Egg Whites, room temperature - 8 oz/250 g
  • Wondra flour (a specific brand of instant flour, AKA pre-gelatinized flour) - 4 oz / 120g
  • Heavy cream - 3 fl oz / 90 mL
  • Granulated Sugar - 1 oz / 30 g
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • Dried thyme, crushed - 1 tsp / 5 mL

Procedure:

  1. Lightly beat the egg whites together to blend. Stir in all the flour at once
  2. Blend in the cream, then add the remaining ingredients
  3. Strain batter through a china cap (For the home cook, this means a fine chinois, or a couple layers of cheesecloth in a strainer) and allow to rest 30 minutes
  4. Lightly oil the back of a very flat sheet pan. Pipe the hippen masse onto the pan using a plastic squeeze bottle. Pipe into decorative patterns as desired for presentation
  5. Bake at 375F (190C) until set and lightly browned, approx 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven, then remove decorations from sheet pan while still slightly warm.
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I think Hippenmasse is the German equivalent of the tuile, though the ratio looks slightly different. I think Hippenmasse is likely to contain marzipan or some bitter almonds in sweet applications. I suppose "tuile" is a bit specific in shape categories since it suggests roof 'tiles'. –  JasonTrue Jul 13 '11 at 6:25
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