Millions of fortune cookies or tuiles are manufactured every day. Originally the messages were Chinese sayings, some of which were poorly translated and made no sense. Nowadays, fortune cookie factories employ writers. The cookies often contain lottery numbers, which are generated by a computer. In March 2005. US lottery officials suspected a scam when 110 people claimed the prize of $100,000 as opposed to the usual handful. When they investigated it. they discovered the sequence of digits came from a fortune cookie! For your oriental tea, why not devise your own personalised fortunes? The pieces of paper should measure about 6 x 1cm. Here are some examples: ‘May you live in interesting times’ (for those of you that don’t know, this is a Chinese curse!): or ‘You will be hungry again in 1 hour’.
|2||large egg whites|
|1 tsp||orange-blossom water|
|2 tbsp||vegetable oil|
|1 tbsp||sesame oil|
|¼ tsp||sea salt|
Preheat the oven to 170°C (gas 3). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Make your fortunes.
Beat the egg whites, orange-blossom water and oils together in a bowl until frothy. Sift the flour, cornflour, salt and sugar into another bowl. Add the water to the flour mixture. Add the egg mixture to the flour mix and stir until you have a smooth batter.
Bake these cookies in three batches of 5 or 6 at a time. Place tablespoons of the batter on to the prepared baking sheet and then use the back of a metal spoon to swirl out the mixture into 10cm circles. Leave space between each cookie as they will spread a little during cooking.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until light golden brown, then remove from the oven. Remove each cookie from the baking sheet with a spatula and place a rolled-up fortune in the centre of each one. Very quickly, while the cookie is still soft and pliable, fold it in half and pinch the edges together to seal. Place the folded edge of the cookie over the rim of a cup and gently pull the two corners down, to form the classic fortune cookie shape. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Repeat with the remaining batter until all your fortune cookies are baked and shaped. Store in an air-tight container. If the cookies have softened by the time you come to serve them, crisp them up in the oven for a few minutes.