Saturday, March 27, 2010

Orange Tian

Earlier this year, in my never ending quest to find new recipes and challenges in the kitchen, I joined the Daring Baker's team.  The team is comprised with food bloggers, with widely-varying skill levels, from all over the world.

This is how it works: after being approved as a Daring Baker, you are given a recipe assignment on the first day of the month.  You then have until the posting date, the last Saturday in that month, to create, photograph and write about that month's challenge.  All of the Daring Bakers post their work on the same, set date.

The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.

I was excited to begin my very first Daring Baker's challenge.  I had never heard of a 'tian', but the recipe came from one of the best chefs in the world.  And, let's be honest, what's not to love about caramel-soaked citrus with whipped cream and a sweet cookie?

The only modification I made to the recipe was using blood orange and red grapefruit segments, in addition to the suggested orange segments, for the fruit on top of the tian.  I just adore that combination of citrus fruit.

The visual results were not quite as I had hoped.  The whipped cream did not stabilize quite enough and therefore was unable to hold the weight of the citrus segments without collapsing a bit.

But, the taste was wonderful!  Light, creamy and just the right touch of sweetness.

Orange Tian
from Daring Baker's Challenge, March 2010
This recipe can be prepared in individual servings, using the below mentioned cookie cutters, or 'family-style' in a 9" springform pan.

For the Pate Sablee:

2 large egg yolks, room temperature
80 grams granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 grams unsalted butter, ice cold, cubed
2 grams table salt
200 grams all-purpose flour
4 grams baking powder

Preparation Instructions
Put the flour, baking powder, ice cold cubed butter and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
In a separate bowl, add the eggs yolks, vanilla extract and sugar and beat with a whisk until the mixture is pale. Pour the egg mixture in the food processor.

Process until the dough just comes together. If you find that the dough is still a little too crumbly to come together, add a couple drops of water and process again to form a homogenous ball of dough. Form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until you obtain a ¼ inch thick circle.

Using your cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough and place on a parchment (or silicone) lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the circles of dough are just golden.

For the Marmalade:

100 grams orange juice, freshly pressed
1 large orange
Cold Water
5 grams pectin
Granulated sugar

Preparation Instructions
Finely slice the orange. Place the orange slices in a medium-sized pot filled with cold water. Simmer for about 10 minutes, discard the water, re-fill with cold water and blanch the oranges for another 10 minutes.
Blanch the orange slices 3 times. This process removes the bitterness from the orange peel, so it is essential to use a new batch of cold water every time when you blanch the slices.

Once blanched 3 times, drain the slices and let them cool.

Once they are cool enough to handle, finely mince them (using a knife or a food processor).

Weigh the slices and use the same amount of granulated sugar . If you don’t have a scale, you can place the slices in a cup measurer and use the same amount of sugar.

In a pot over medium heat, add the minced orange slices, the sugar you just weighed, the orange juice and the pectin. Cook until the mixture reaches a jam consistency (10-15 minutes).

Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge.

For the Orange Segments:

8 oranges

Preparation Instructions
Cut the oranges into segments over a shallow bowl and make sure to keep the juice. Add the segments to the bowl with the juice.
For the Caramel:

200 grams granulated sugar
400 grams orange juice

Preparation Instructions
Place the sugar in a pan on medium heat and begin heating it.
Once the sugar starts to bubble and foam, slowly add the orange juice. As soon as the mixture starts boiling, remove from the heat and pour half of the mixture over the orange segments.

Reserve the other half of the caramel mixture in a small bowl — you will use this later to spoon over the finished dessert. When the dessert is assembled and setting in the freezer, heat the kept caramel sauce in a small saucepan over low heat until it thickens and just coats the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes). You can then spoon it over the orange tians.

For the Whipped Cream:

200 grams heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon Gelatine
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon orange marmalade (see recipe above)

Preparation Instructions
In a small bowl, add the gelatine and hot water, stirring well until the gelatine dissolves. Let the gelatine cool to room temperature while you make the whipped cream.
Combine the cream in a chilled mixing bowl. Whip the cream using a hand mixer on low speed until the cream starts to thicken for about one minute. Add the confectioner sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high. Whip the cream until the beaters leave visible (but not lasting) trails in the cream, then add the cooled gelatine slowly while beating continuously.

Continue whipping until the cream is light and fluffy and forms soft peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl and fold in the orange marmalade.

Assembling the Dessert:

Make sure you have some room in your freezer. Ideally, you should be able to fit a small baking sheet or tray of desserts to set in the freezer.

Line a small tray or baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. Lay out 6 cookie cutters onto the parchment paper/silicone.

Drain the orange segments on a kitchen towel.

Have the marmalade, whipped cream and baked circles of dough ready to use.

Arrange the orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter. Make sure the segments all touch either and that there are no gaps. Make sure they fit snuggly and look pretty as they will end up being the top of the dessert. Arrange them as you would sliced apples when making an apple tart.

Once you have neatly arranged one layer of orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter, add a couple spoonfuls of whipped cream and gently spread it so that it fills the cookie cutter in an even layer. Leave about 1/4 inch at the top so there is room for dough circle.

Using a butter knife or small spoon, spread a small even layer of orange marmalade on each circle of dough.

Carefully place a circle of dough over each ring (the side of dough covered in marmalade should be the side touching the whipping cream). Gently press on the circle of dough to make sure the dessert is compact.

Place the desserts to set in the freezer to set for 10 minutes.

Using a small knife, gently go around the edges of the cookie cutter to make sure the dessert will be easy to unmold. Gently place your serving plate on top of a dessert (on top of the circle of dough) and turn the plate over. Gently remove the cookie cutter, add a spoonful of caramel sauce and serve immediately.


  1. Great job on your first challenge! I too had mine start to slide but I quickly got the form back on and stuck them in the freezer for longer. Your citrus fruit looks beautiful!

  2. Dolcetto Confections | Allison M. VeinoteMarch 28, 2010 at 4:35 AM

    Thanks so much for the kind words Kim! Your first challenge was wonderful too - I love the heart shape you created!


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