Sunday, March 28, 2010

Daring Bakers' Orange Tian

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'm finally done with my exams! Well, there's still a lot more over the next few months, but at least i got the big ones out of the way. I can finally start enjoying some overdue, guilt-free cooking and baking that i have put off for weeks... starting with this Orange Tian!

For this months' challenge, Jennifer asked us to assemble our own upside-down dessert called a Tian. Tian can be layered with anything, really-- from fudge to brownies, beef to potatoes. But thank goodness she chose oranges cuz I can't imagine anything looking more healthy and cheerful than a bright citrus tower of vitamin-C! So in attempt to keep it healthy, i decided to make a low-fat version and replaced the whipping cream with yogurt. I added an extra tablespoon of gelatin to make sure it set properly and ended up with something like a yogurt panna cotta--perfectly custardy with no extra baggage! JLo's quite the scruitinizer when it comes to desserts (demanding to know the exact amount of butter, eggs and cream that went in before he decides how much he's going to have), so with a Tian like this, it was good to finally see him ask for seconds for a change!
Thanks again, Jennifer, for sharing this recipe with us!

Orange Tian
For the Pate Sablee:
  • 1.5 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (200 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (4 grams)
  • ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, ice cold and cubed (100 grams)
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt (2 grams)
  • 2 medium-sized egg yolks, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (80 grams)
  1. Put the flour, baking powder, ice cold cubed butter and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade [picture 1].
  2. 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 [picture 2].
  3. 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 [picture 3]. Form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
  5. Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until you obtain a ¼ inch thick circle.
  6. Using your cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough and place on a parchment (or silicone) lined baking sheet [picture 4]. Bake for 20 minutes or until the circles of dough are just golden.
For the Orange Marmalade:
  • ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons freshly pressed orange juice (100 grams)
  • 1 large orange [used to make orange slices]
  • Cold water [to cook the orange slices]
  • 5 grams pectin
  • Granulated sugar: use the same weight as the weight of orange slices once they are cooked
  1. 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 [picture 1].
  2. 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.
  3. Once blanched 3 times, drain the slices and let them cool.
  4. Once they are cool enough to handle, finely mince them (using a knife or a food processor) [picture 2].
  5. 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.
  6. In a pot over medium heat, add the minced orange slices, the sugar you just weighed, the orange juice and the pectin [picture 3]. Cook until the mixture reaches a jam consistency (10-15 minutes) [picture 4].
  7. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge.
For the Orange Segments:
  • 8 oranges
  1. 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.
  2. YouTube link on how to segment an orange:
For the Caramel Sauce:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons orange juice (400 grams)
  1. Place the sugar in a pan on medium heat and begin heating it.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. [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:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (200 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons of hot water
  • 1 tsp gelatine
  • 1 tablespoon of confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade (see recipe above)
  1. In a small bowl, add the gelatine and hot water, stirring well until the gelatine dissolves [picture 1]. Let the gelatine cool to room temperature while you make the whipped cream.
  2. 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 [picture 2].
  3. Whip the cream until the beaters leave visible (but not lasting) trails in the cream, then add the cooled gelatine slowly while beating continuously [picture 3]. Continue whipping until the cream is light and fluffy and forms soft peaks.
  4. Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl and fold in the orange marmalade [picture 4].
  5. [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:
  1. 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.
  2. Line a small tray or baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. Lay out 6 cookie cutters onto the parchment paper/silicone.
  3. Drain the orange segments on a kitchen towel.
  4. Have the marmalade, whipped cream and baked circles of dough ready to use.
  5. 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 [picture 1].
  6. 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 [picture 2].
  7. Using a butter knife or small spoon, spread a small even layer of orange marmalade on each circle of dough [picture 3].
  8. 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 [picture 4].
  9. Place the desserts to set in the freezer to set for 10 minutes.
  10. 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.
Orange Tian


  1. That looks amazing! I`d love to try one piece :)

  2. Great job on the challenge! I love all of the in process images that you included in your post.

  3. Hey, thank you sooo much four your sweety feedback ♥
    Your tian is very very nice, really :) And the pictures are so nice et clear, great job :)

  4. Good job. I like the idea that you replaced the whipped cream with yogurt. I'll have to try that.

  5. nice photos, great to see the process! nice job this month :) awesome step by steps!

  6. Looks just delicious, great job on your photos as well.

  7. Lucky you I have my exams in 2 weeks! Yogurt huh? I like that idea alot, think I'll try your version when I do this again...I love yogurt. And maybe if you do the whole drain in the fridge overnight thing you may not even need gelatin to set it, what do you think?

  8. Re: Yogurt
    Yes you'd drain it pretty much the same way as for the cream in the previous challenge. Place a strainer over a bowl line with damp cheesecloth or paper towels (I always use paper towels and they work fine even for the mascarpone) pour in the yogurt, cover and leave it in the fridge overnight. Then: VOILA!!! when you return it will be super thick and the extra liquid would have drained off into the bowl - of course you'd want to use a bowl with enough room so that the liquid that drains off won't touch the bottom of the strainer :)

  9. Love the idea to use yogurt! I may have to try that next time....

  10. That is one yummy looking healthy dessert! I love you step-by-step pictures. Great job!

  11. Looks tedious but oh my look at that dessert! perfect! congratulations, good job! :)

  12. I love the idea of a low fat version - I'll have to try that!!! We used to get this low fat Greek vanilla yogurt that when put in the freezer for just a bit, would taste similar to cheesecake. Mouth is watering just thinking about it! Great work!

  13. Ciao ! I love your tian ! Gorgeous !

  14. Very pretty. And great you went healthy with yogurt. I really like that.

  15. Have I told you how great those stepbystep photos are! They must take you such a while to assemble your blog post tooo!

    Yay for the exams being over and done with! Nothing feels better than guilt-free, RUSH-FREE baking/cooking! And I'm sure you'll do great too.

    Loving the lower fat version too! It makes you feel less 'heavy' and more dessert happy. JLO is SUCCCH a girl for being picky with his food! hehehe, just kidding, don't tell him I said that. My boy just eats and eats and stays slim as hell. GRRRR.wish we could all say the same huh!

  16. Love the post and your results!! I had issues with segmenting the oranges but the dessert turned out really tasty!

  17. Congrats on being done with exams for a bit! That must be so exciting. Love that you used yogurt and made it healthy Straying from the recipe makes you even more daring. :)

  18. Great post on the Tian. Yours looks beautiful. Congrats on being done with your exams!

  19. This looks great, and what a fantastic idea to do yogurt. I can see many variations of tian in my future!

  20. Jl sounds like an interesting guy :-) Well, a guy who takes very good care of himself is definitely a plus point ....

    I am happy you have completed your exams. I could see your happiness in that scrumptious tian :-)

    Anyway, I love your meticulous way of explaining the process in detail (that always amazes me, by the way...)

    Happy eating, Angelica :-)

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  21. Your Tian looks perfect! Nice, thick layer of cream and oranges... yum!
    Love your very instructive and helpful photos!

    Cheers :)

  22. How nice to get your big exams out of the way =D. Your tian looks gorgeous! Love the photos!

  23. Just came across your blog.. love it and definitely going to try your recipes!! Love your step by step photos because it makes it look easy to attempt! But the photos in the older entries aren't showing up.. :( Could you fix those pictures again so I can try the recipes? :D *pretty please?** :D

  24. @Anonymous: thanks for stopping by! Some of my older posts are lacking step-by-step photos cuz I guess the idea didn't to do them didn't occur to me until later on. If i re-make any of them, i'll be sure to update!

  25. Great job! Good to know that yogurt works with this, too. Your orange segments looks perfect!

  26. I LOVE the yogurt in lieu of the whipped cream and your orange sgements are perfection and perfectly arranged! Gorgeousfamily size tian..definitely a 5 star dessert!

  27. Oh crap, they look so good!!! but the long long long directions simply kills my passion LOL, I am just lazy... if you ever move to somewhere nearby, could you please consider me as your 1st choice roommate? ^+++++++^

  28. Happpy Easter!!!:) Hope you and JLO are having a good one over there!

  29. that sure is an impressive-looking dessert. i don't think i've ever seen anything like it before