Saturday, March 27, 2010

Orange Tian


Jennifer from Chocolate Shavings is our host for the March 2010 Daring Bakers' challenge. She presented us with an orange tian which she made for the first time a few months ago at the Alain Ducasse Cooking School in Paris, France. An orange tian is a layered dessert: a base of pate sablee, orange marmalade, whipped cream topped with fresh orange segments and served with a caramel and orange sauce.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did not have time to make my own orange marmalade so I cannot comment on the marmalade making part of this month's challenge. Instead I used one of my favorite local brands, Frog Hollow Farm navel orange marmalade. I also skipped the caramel. I didn’t even make the pate sablee using the recipe Jennifer provided since I already had some in the freezer leftover from some previous baking endeavor.

But I do have an excuse. My March was very busy. At the office my team was at the end of our launch cycle which is typically the busiest and craziest time. To make a busy time even busier I was in Quebec for a week just days before the launch. (My vacation was planned way before the launch schedule was finalized.) I also celebrated my birthday with a lengthy (5 hour!) but wonderful dinner at Manresa in Los Gatos. We had some relatives visiting from out of town and spent a couple nights hanging out with them. And then we had two baby parties (one red egg and ginger and one birthday) to attend. This left me with hardly enough time to devote to this month's DB challenge.

I did manage to whip together a quick version of the tian. I made two 3-inch tians: one using Cuties brand mandarin oranges (see first photo above) and the other with navel oranges (see photo below). Supreming oranges is something I do often since I like the way membrane-free segments look in salads (and I prepare a lot of salads with citrus fruits). All you need is a sharp knife. I only used half the amount of gelatin in my whipped cream layer since I knew that my heavy cream had a high enough fat content to hold its shape after unmolding and I don't like that slightly rubbery texture that cream takes on when gelatin is added.

I didn't freeze my assembled tians. I just let them chill in the refrigerator until it was time to serve them. Unmolding was easy and the orange segments looked really pretty. Unfortunately, I didn't really like the taste of the final product. It tasted like whipped cream with orange segments and a sugar cookie, which is really what it was, but I guess I was hoping that the sum would be greater than all its parts. Maybe the caramel would've made a difference? Even though I was disappointed with my results, I'm glad I was able to complete this challenge.

navel orange tian

The fine print:
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.

Orange Tian

Preparation time:
- Pate Sablee: 20 minutes to make, 30 minutes to rest, 15 minutes to roll out, 20 minutes to bake
- Marmalade: 20 minutes to make, 30 minutes to blanch
- Orange segments: 20 minutes, overnight to sit
- Caramel: 15 minutes, overnight to sit
- Whipped Cream: 15 minutes
- Assembling: 20 minutes
- Freezer to Set: 10 minutes

Equipment required:
• Cookie cutters. Ideally, you should have about 6 cookie cutters to build the desserts in and cut the circles of dough. The cookie cutters will be the size of your final dessert, so they should be the size of an individually-sized tart mold. If you don’t have round cookie cutters you could use an individually-sized cheesecake mold without its base.
• A food processor (although the dough could be made by hand too)
• A stand-up or hand mixer
• Parchment paper or a silicone sheet
• A baking sheet
• A rolling pin

For the Pate Sablee:

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:

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.

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 powdered gelatin
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 gelatin 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 gelatin 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.


Marcellina said...

Your tian looks really delicious even though you were not that impressed. I must admit it seems like a fancy name for a rather simple tart. But I think it can be work on! Great pics!

Deeba PAB said...

I like both the oranges you used, and I can see they built up beautifully. Sorry you didn't enjoy then end product too much. Maybe next time you can play around with the cream filling! I did & loved it!

Anonymous said...

Too bad you didn't like it that much. It does look good, though!

Aparna said...

At least you managed to get the challenge in time and it does looke very orange and pretty.
I agree I didn't find it too spectacular but it wasn't too bad.

Also rather belated birthday wishes to you, Mary.

Karen @ Citrus and Candy said...

I agree, I didn't really see much of this dessert past the fact that it's just fruit, cream and biscuit. But good on you for finishing the challenge!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your tian look lovely! Great job!



shelley c. said...

WOw - that was a busy month. And happy (bleated) birthday! Great job pulling together the dessert considering all that you had going on! They look beautiful, even if they weren't your favorite. Great job!

Mary said...

It looks great! Did you add marmalade to the whipped cream? I found the caramel and marmalade (and dulce de leche) really added to the dessert, so maybe you can experiment a bit when you have more time.

Valerie said...

Your tian looks perfectly fine without the caramel. You were smart to pass on the gelatin, it left a few rubbery chunks which even the beater couldn't fix. Even though you were not impressed, your pictures are lovely.

Happy Belated Birthday!

Natalie... said...

Wow yours looks pretty, shame you didnt really enjoy it that much :( hopefully next months challenge will be more appealing. :)

Tia said...

nice color from the mandarins! hey shortcuts are ok sometimes too! :)

Ago said...

Hi! I didn't like the whipped cream in this dessert, too and so I replaced it with ricotta its taste was surely better...and the caramel, surely is an important component in this recipe..howewer I love your tian and photo!
Ago :-D

Dharm said...

Looks superb! I didnt make my own marmalade either... naughty arent we!! LOL!!

maybelle's mom said...

it looks lovely--and I actually froze froze froze mine; used nutella and meringues, made a spicy marmalade. All of that really made the dessert.

Kathleen said...

I'm impressed with the fact that even though you were so busy you still were able to get the challenge done! I'm totally late and I feel like a total dork! To bad you didn't enjoy this more. I guess the point is you never know til you try it out!

Anonymous said...

First of all: Major points for doing this at all. Next: I used Cuties, too! I made a marmalade with them--just with their pulp, not the rind. It was awesome stuff. Worth making when you have the time.
BTW, You tian looks lovely.

MeetaK said...

i added quark into my cream to give it more taste and texture - i think it was a good idea because it really did improve the taste. i also like the idea of all the several different varieties one can make with this basic idea.

Anonymous said...

WOW i love the pop of colour on your orange tian! I've seen a few around but none as gorgeous as yours. I think you must be getting some lovely produce there!

Anna said...

Ooh the bright orange color is so beautiful! Great job!

Cherine said...

Your tian looks lovely.

Poonam said...

Your tian looks good in both the shades of orange!

SEO Services said...

I was really looking forward to making that "Orange Tian" as not only did it sound interesting, but also because it seemed not too rich and spring-like. Now, that winter has ended, we crave lighter desserts and shun away from the heavier versions on which we splurged during the cold season.Ducasse's "Orange Tian" recipe was very easy to prepare, but it was nonetheless time consuming. After two days of marmelade-, pâte sablée- and caramel-making we were finally able to indulge ourselves in the most delightful and refined fruit dessert that I have ever made.