Daring Bakers, March: Orange Tian

Here's my Daring Bakers project for March! For those just joining me, the Daring Bakers are given a secret recipe at the beginning of the month to bake sometime during the month before they reveal their results at the end of the month.

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.

Daring Bakers March: Orange Tian
I built mine family style instead of as individual desserts and served it to a group of friends I had over for poetry and potluck.

Daring Bakers March: Orange Tian
Trying to arrange the orange wedges in the mold so they would look pretty was a little challenging.

Daring Bakers March: Orange Tian
I used the top of my dish as a sort of cookie cutter for my big tian, but the whipped cream didn't fill the dish, so the cookie base needed to be smaller so it could fit better against the whipped cream line. Ah well--I'll know for next time!

Daring Bakers March: Orange Tian
I got a little too enthusiastic with trying to fit the crust into the mold.

Daring Bakers March: Orange Tian
After you lay the orange wedges down, you layer in the whipped cream (with the orange marmalade folded in), then press the cookie base on top, freeze it about 10 minutes to set, then unmold it so the cookie base is on the bottom.

Daring Bakers March: Orange Tian
Then you pour the orange caramel over the top.

Daring Bakers March: Orange Tian
Here are the smaller sizes

As always when rolling a chilled dough, it helps to let it then warm up just a tad before rolling so it doesn't crack/rip under the rolling pin.

When cooking the marmalade, make sure it doesn't turn into a thick, sticky jam because you'll have to fold it into the whipped cream later--stop its cooking while it's still a bit liquid. If it's stiff anyway when you have to fold it in, you can heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so until it's an easier consistency to work with. This will also help when spreading it over the tian base.

You're supposed to drain the liquid from the orange wedges after their overnight soak--don't just dump it! This syrup is too sweet to drink straight (unless you're into that), but it makes a nice sweet addition to fruit smoothies, iced teas, or uh "adult beverages." You could also use it to soak trifles or other cakes you want to flavor and moisten.

After looking at other DBers' photos, it seemed like over- or under-whipping the cream when making the whipped cream was a minor issue. The finished whipped cream should be able to hold stiff peaks, but shouldn't curdle at all--in other words, no chunkiness. If it seems to soften up after folding in the marmalade, you can try whipping it more to aerate it further so it will hold its shape better after spreading it over the orange wedges.

The caramel sauce you add at the end is easy and will stay soft even after cooking for a long time, but it can get a bit chewy at a certain point. I think taking the sauce off the stove when it's thick enough to just coat a spoon makes the perfect consistency--not so runny that it pours right off the top, but not so thick that it turns into toffee as soon as it hits the cold oranges. The caramel will soften up as the tian warms up, though--if it lasts that long!

I used plastic wrap to line my mold so I'd be able to pop it out after it had set and was ready to plate, but of course I got some lines from the wrap in my whipped cream. If I'd wanted to pretty it up, I could've taken a warm spatula to the sides to smooth them out, or just added more whipped cream around the sides to mask the wrinkles.

My guests liked the dessert, but they also really enjoyed the sablees I made from the leftover dough. If I'd had some marmalade left, I would've made marmalade sandwich cookies!

You can check out my fellow DBers' blogs here at our Blogroll--there are thousands of us, so you won't be hurting for food-loving inspiration!

And finally, here's the recipe:
For the Pate Sablee:

Ingredients U.S. Imperial Metric Instructions for Ingredients
2 medium-sized egg yolks at room temperature
granulated sugar 6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon; 2.8 oz; 80 grams
vanilla extract ½ teaspoon
Unsalted butter ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons; 3.5 oz; 100 grams ice cold, cubed
Salt 1/3 teaspoon; 2 grams
All-purpose flour 1.5 cup + 2 tablespoons; 7 oz; 200 grams
baking powder 1 teaspoon ; 4 grams

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:

Ingredients U.S. Imperial Metric Instructions for Ingredients
Freshly pressed orange juice ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons; 3.5 oz; 100 grams
1 large orange used to make orange slices
cold water to cook the orange slices
pectin 5 grams
granulated sugar: use the same weight as the weight of orange slices once they are cooked

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:

For this step you will need 8 oranges.

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.

[See YouTube video in the References section below for additional information on segmenting oranges.]

For the Caramel:

Ingredients U.S. Metric Imperial Instructions for Ingredients
granulated sugar 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
orange juice 1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons; 14 oz; 400 grams

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.

[Tip: Be very careful when making the caramel — if you have never made caramel before, I would suggest making this step while you don’t have to worry about anything else. Bubbling sugar is extremely, extremely hot, so make sure you have a bowl of ice cold water in the kitchen in case anyone gets burnt!]

For the Whipped Cream:

Ingredients U.S. Metric Imperial Instructions for Ingredients
heavy whipping cream 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
3 tablespoons of hot water
1 tsp Gelatine
1 tablespoon of confectioner's sugar
orange marmalade (see recipe above) 1 tablespoon

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.
[Tip: Use an ice cold bowl to make the whipped cream in. You can do this by putting your mixing bowl, cream and beater in the fridge for 20 minutes prior to whipping the cream.]

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.


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