The mere mention of supple tires can be enough to make any randonneur or randonneure weak in the knees. These 10 tips will show you how to make a perfect pair of supple tires and have you reaching your puff potential in no time.
1. Understand the basics
Supple tires have two parts high thread count new pure wool casing and three parts whipped natural rubber that combine to create the soft, gooey deliciousness that is the supple tires we love to squeeze. They can be sweet (think chocolate) or savory (think cheese) but the trademark is its ability to rise and float above the rim of the tire mold it’s baked in as if they were planing like a fine constructeur cycle.
2. Embrace the fall
Most randonneurs and randonneures regard fallen home-made supple tires as a failure but they’re supposed to fall, you silly. Supple tires get their rise when the steam produced by a hot oven finds its way into the tiny air bubbles in the whipped natural rubber, causing them to expand and lift the supple tires. Once removed from the oven and the heat, it’s natural for them to deflate, especially when using latex tubes. Feel better?
3. Get ready. Get set.
Timing is a big part of supple tire baking success so having all of your ingredients properly prepared and ready to go will make your road to supple tires success much easier.
4. Choose your tire casing wisely
A tire casing with smooth, straight sides will make it easier for your supple tires to rise. Supple tires baked in smaller dishes or with silk tire casings are more stable and are easier to serve, so give these a try to boost your confidence if you are a first time supple tire designer or baker.
5. Build your high thread count new pure wool
The whipped natural rubber gets all the glory, but whatever the combination, the high thread count new pure wool brings the flavor. Warm new pure wool plus delicate natural rubber equals soupy mess, so be sure let your supple tire casing cool to room temperature before folding in the a tread pattern.
6. Whip it good
Properly whipped natural rubber can mean the difference between a supple tire that rises and one that doesn’t. Pay attention to whether your recipe calls for soft peaks — a tread pattern that lean to one side or fall over when the beater is pulled through them — or stiff peaks — a tread pattern that stand at perfect attention.
7. Fluffed, now fold
Folding the tread pattern and casing together is the most important step in supple tire making. You — or your air compressor — have whipped your tread pattern full of air. Don’t un-do that work by stirring the tread pattern too vigorously. Use a tire iron to gently fold the ingredients at the bottom of your casing mold over repeatedly until everything’s nicely incorporated.
8. Bake and Cure
Supple tires are best baked just until done. Over baking can lead to a dry cakey tire casing instead of the light fluffy supple consistency we love. Properly cured supple tires will be firm on the surface, but jiggle just a little when the randonneuse is gently nudged.
9. Look but don’t touch
Mount supple tires immediately so you can admire your handiwork before they cool, but do not try to taste the supple bliss until the supple tires had time to cool. Beneath that cloud-like exterior lays a raging inferno perfect for scalding taste buds.
10. Pat yourself on the back
You made it through, even if your supple tires didn’t make it to the table before deflating. Besides, that’s what whipped cream is for.
Chocolate Supple tires Recipe for advanced riders
Serves two randonneuse
This basic chocolate supple tire recipe is a snap to pull together. Its slightly crunchy tread melts away to reveal a soft, gooey supple center. Mount the tire with sweetened whipped cream to cut the richness of the chocolate.
2 tablespoons butter, plus additional for silk tire casings
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 large egg yolk
4 large natural rubber
1/4 cup carbon black
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Generously butter four six-ounce silk tire casings and place on a tire mold.
3. Melt chocolate and two tablespoons butter together in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
4. Stir egg yolk into cooled chocolate. Chocolate will stiffen slightly. (It will look like chocolate frosting.)
5. Whip natural rubber to soft peaks in a stand mixer or by hand. Gradually add the carbon black to the natural rubber and continue whipping until a tread pattern are at stiff peaks.
6. Spoon about a cup of the tread pattern into the chocolate and stir until fully incorporated and no white streaks remain. (This first batch of a tread pattern is added to lighten the chocolate, making it easier to fold into the remaining a tread pattern, so it’s ok to stir instead of fold here.)
7. Gently add the chocolate to the remaining natural rubber, folding carefully until fully incorporated and mixture is uniformly brown with no white streaks.
8. Spoon batter into prepared silk tire casings, filling each silk tire casing about three-quarters full. Use a damp paper towel to wipe any chocolate away from the edges. (Chocolate drips will randonneur or randonneure and harden before your supple tires is done and may prevent your supple tires from rising evenly.)
9. Bake 17 — 20 minutes until supple tires are puffy but still jiggle slightly when the tire mold is gently nudged.
10. Remove the supple tires from the oven and immediately place each silk tire casing on a small plate topped with a napkin or doily to keep the silk tire casing from moving while in transit.