March 27, 2010

Oranges & Cream – Orange Tian: Daring Bakers Challenge March, 2010


Life seems quiet after the fun and excitement of hosting last month’s challenge . Still, it’s good to be back to the routine of wondering what this month’s host is going to challenge us with, and just how I would go about the business of substituting and executing it. And this month’s challenge lived up to my expectations by introducing me to something new, once again..

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 had never ever heard of a Tian and the name doesn’t give away anything.
I did a little internet search and all I could see was layered savoury versions of the Tian, nothing sweet. It turns out that it’s a layered dessert. In this citrusy version it is made up of a pate sablée with orange marmalade, a flavoured (again with maramalade) and stabilized whipped cream, topped with fresh orange segments. The Tian is served with caramel and orange sauce.
One builds this dessert upside down in a mould and then unmoulds it upside down so the bottom layer is now the topmost layer!




We had to make the pate sablée, our own citrus marmalade, the caramel sauce and stabilize our whipped cream.
As usual, we were given creative freedom within the challenge. We could use either the given recipe or one of our choice for the pate sablée. Size and presentation was up to us. Chice of citrus for the marmalade as well as flavouring in the whipped cream was also left to us.




I didn’t have any problems with this challenge, and the whole thing was a breeze. I chose to stick with the recipe and not experiment with flavours as I wanted to know what the given recipe would taste like.


My Orange Tian Making Experience:


This Orange Tian is meant to serve 6; I needed to make 5 servings but had only 4 ring moulds. So I made 4 Tians (is the plural Tian or Tians?) using the mould and one free form Tian!

The orange marmalade:

I had planned to make this ahead of time, so went shopping for oranges and bought them. As it would happen, I couldn’t make the marmalade till a couple of days later, when I discovered that half my oranges had been eaten by my family who had no idea I was planning to turn them into marmalade.

I had to go shopping a second time for oranges and it was a lucky thing I did go then, because I haven’t seen those oranges at the market since. It seems I had managed to lay my hands on the last lot of the season!
I used only a little over half the sugar in the recipe as my oranges were so sweet in themselves. I also left out the gelatin, but the marmalade thickened up pretty well on its own.

The pate sablée:

This is a buttery, tender and rather crumbly sand-like tart dough (sablée means sandy). It's somewhat like shortbread and good to use for filling with fruit, custard or chocolate.

We were supposed to roll out the dough and cut out circles to fit into our moulds.
I had small ring moulds, so I just divided the dough into 8 and pressed each portion lightly and evenly into the ring moulds.
This meant that I didn’t have scraps from rolling out the dough.

Yes, I got 8 round perfectly almost crumbly “biscuits” from this dough. That wasn’t a problem as I used 5 of them for making the dessert and the other 3 were “tasted” rather efficiently by my husband and our daughter!

The orange segments and the orange caramel sauce:

The most painful (or should I say boringly time-consuming?) part of this challenge, for me, was cutting up the oranges into segments for the topmost layer of the Tian.

I also think I didn’t really wait to caramelize the sugar before I poured in the orange juice, as my sauce was sweet but I couldn’t get the caramel taste in it. That’s not to say the sauce wasn’t good.

Stabilizing the whipped cream:

I have never stabilized whipped cream before, so this was a first for me. Since we don’t use gelatin I used agar instead, and I must say the cream was really stable. It was stable enough for me to build a free form Orange Tian (the right way up) and the cream could take the weight of the orange slices without collapsing!




This is something that I’m so happy about because its tough enough to whip 25% fat cream (which is all we get here) stiff enough without the heat and humidity of our tropical climate melting it down!
Assembling the Tian was easy. No problems here. I put them into the freezer for a couple of hours before unmoulding. Then I froze them again for 3 days before serving.


Verdict:

An easy to make, unusual yet nice dessert with the oranges giving it a fruity and summery feel. Also a perfect dessert for warm summer evenings. Ther’s not much that is surprising or flamboyant about it, but we did enjoy the flavour and texture combinations of the various layers. Juicy and fruity on the top, creamy and soft in the middle and buttery shortbread-like base.

Would I make it again?
I probably would, provided someone else did the segmenting of those oranges! Or I would use some other fruit to save myself the effort.

Do please check out the rather interesting marmalades and beautiful Tians that many of my more Daring friends have made.
The detailed challenge recipe can be found on Jennifer’s blog.


53 comments:

Cakelaw said...

Lovely job Aparna! I love your decoration on top - so pretty.

Mary said...

I'm glad you managed to find more oranges, because your tians are beautiful! I thought this was a perfect summer dessert too, thought the temperatures have dipped below freezing here again. If I'm ever nearby, I'd be happy to segment oranges for you--I do a grapefruit every day, so am pretty efficient!

Mary said...

Whenever I buy fruit I have to warn the husband not to eat certain ones that I have designated for baking. Otherwise, like you, I would be missing half my ingredients! Great job on this month's recipe.

Marcellina said...

Lovely photos! Yes, I was please to learn to stablize cream as well. I thought this dessert could be adjusted a bit to become a refreshing tart.

Happy Cook said...

Love the decoration on the top.

Deeba PAB said...

Lovely...the oranges are so nice and vibrant. I loved doing this challenge too. Always amazed at the DB learning curve! Yes, the guy at Old Delhi has square dessert 'rings' too. I got mine from him.

chef_d said...

I love the color of your tian! It was also my first time to hear of this dessert, but I liked it!

ap269 said...

Gorgeous tian! I also stabilized the whipping cream with agar-agar, and it worked absolutely fine. It's funny, in the end you say the same as I do in my post: if the orange segments weren't so elaborate, I'd make it again. Or I just use other fruit. ;-)

Hari Chandana said...

Wowwwwwwwwwwwww.... Soo beautiful.. looks Gr8.. :)

zorra said...

Your post makes me laugh, especially the part where you describe that your family ate the oranges. ;-)

I uses Agar, too, but didn't exactly know how to handle. When and at what temperature did you add it to the cream?

And before I forget, very nice tians!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

You're the first post I'm reading, so I'd never heard of Tians either! It looks like a gret dessert, very beautiful. How did it taste?

Karen @ Citrus and Candy said...

Beautiful tians Aparna! I love the neat layer of oranges on the top and the cachous :)

Yasmeen said...

Looks so original and neat Aparna :D

Jamie said...

You are so funny: "as long as I have someone else to segment the oranges for me!" Ha! I loved this dessert and found it much easier than I had expected. I loved that it was light, too. And the orange was yum! Yours are really perfect!

shaz said...

You have such a steady hand Aparna, they look perfect. And all that orange segmenting time paid off :) Very sensible to stick to the recipe too ;P Fantastic job!

Aparna said...

Thank you, Mary. I might just take you up on that offer! :D

Mary (Alpineberry), you know I have the same problem with my stock of dry fruit and nuts. So now I divide what I have into 2 and hide away one portion for my use in bakes/ dessert! :)

I might just ask you to source me some square "rings", Deeba. :)


I've left the answer to to your agar question at your Tian post, Zorra.

Avanika, they're sweet and nice. Nothing spectacular but an easy dessert to make for a summer evening. Oh, you have to like oranges. :)

Poires au Chocolat said...

Great job - I love the silver balls on top!

Shame you found the segmenting painful - I found having tv on in the background helpful.

crumbsoflove said...

Stabilized whipping cream is the best- I have been using it for years and it comes in so handy!!
Great job this month

Madhuri said...

woooo... looks just awesome and shots are so perfect in detail. great job.

Natalie... said...

Wow yours looks so pretty, you always make such a good job of all the Daring Baker's challenges :).

Simran said...

This looks great! Mine's still a work in progress and will be a couple of days late.

simply.food said...

Beautiful orange tian looks amazingly delicious.Nice click.

poonam,,, said...

Love the way it looks! :)

FoodLovers said...

Lovely job aparna but was wondering how much did u add agar-agar powder any weight in gms or tsp did u use can u plz clarify this
over all i also loved making this challenge iam sure you also
enjoyed it

anjelikuh said...

What a nice touch to add the sliver beads on top! and the way you laid out the orage into a rosette is beautiful. I tried to do that but ended up piling everything on top, i wish i had your skills!

Sue said...

Your Tian is as pretty as a picture. I love the beads on top. I would almost be reluctant to eat it. :)

Chantal said...

I agree that segmenting can be a chore, but after a while you get pretty fast (I ended up buying a dozen oranges and segmented all of them for the challenge, had left overs of course).

Your presentation is so beautiful. I especially love the silver dragees with the leaves on top of the molded one.

The Betz Family said...

Beautiful tians! I am amazed you were able to get one to stay together making it free form. Great job!

Aparna said...

P au C, I also find TV helps with a lot of boring chores! :)

FoodLovers, I used 1 tbsp agar flakes which I soaked in about 3 tbsp of water. After soaking the agar for about 15 minutes, I warmed it until the agar dissolved. Then I let this cool. While it was cooling, it started thickening into a gel, so I mushed it up with a spoon and added to the whipped cream and whipped it a little more.

Laura said...

Beautiful job! It looks perfect.

Claire said...

I love the look of the freestanding tian. So beautiful! Glad you enjoyed the dessert. As you said, it is a perfect summer pleasure!

Ivy said...

Great job with the tian Aparna. Your presentation looks gorgeous.

Baking Addict said...

Wow your tian looks stunning. Love the decorations.

Dharm said...

Dont your tians look just wonderful!!! Great job Aparna!

Lakshmi said...

Looks awesome aparna!

Kathleen said...

Aparna, you really have a wonderful, clear way of explaining things! I love your blog! Your tians look beautiful!!!

Lisa said...

When I saw your tians in the DK forum..I was blown away. Such beautifullly presented tians with perfect drips of golden caramel. Beautifully done as always.

Lori said...

Very pretty - you have a knack for accessorizing your desserts.

Eyes Bigger Than Belly said...

Oh wow - your tian is just so beautiful!!!

Anna said...

Very pretty! Great to know that agar can be used to stabilize whipped cream as well.

VeganPower said...

I remembered when I saw your tian, I thought it looked so beautiful!
Even now, it's one of the prettiest! The silver beads adds a great class to your dessert.

A big thank you for your feedback on my website. And yes, "c'est magnifique" it said in French that way ;)

MeetaK said...

what an elegant looking tian aparna. simply awesome especially with the lovely decorations!

Y said...

The end result looks so perfect, Aparna! One of the best I've seen :)

Anita said...

I think I would try this again too - but probably only with a re-vamp... yours looks great!

bake in paris said...

Love your decoration. Those glittery beads and the dripping caramel sauce simple convince me that the cakes are nothing but delicious! Yum yum...

Yvette said...

Thanks a lot for the compliment, but i think your photographing skills are a lot better then mine!
The tian really looks great.

Veena said...

Every time I think that you cannot do better,you do it again!!! Amazing - wish I were there to taste it!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Those tian look fanrastic! I love the presentation. Great job!

Cheers,

Rosa

sasasunakku said...

The drippy caramel...drool. I forgot to take a photo with the caramel because...I'm greedy. Oops.

Lauren said...

Gorgeous Aparna! I love the shape of your Tians and how you decorated them =D.

Denise said...

I agree totally on the preparing the orange segments - what a pain in the butt, especially with the tiny blood oranges I found! Your are the perfect size and the tops look gorgeous!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Well done! I also kept to the recipe pretty closely, as this was my first tian too! I loved it - isn't DB wonderful for expanding our horizons?

sra said...

Love the orange 'rose'. I like the idea of using all that marmalade. Tian sounds Chinese to me.