Saturday, March 27, 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.

Where do I start? My brain is still trying to process the experience of my first Daring Baker's challenge. While each piece was not in itself a challenge to me, just making sure that I had read all the fine print, re-read helpful tips before getting started (and while baking), and making sure that I documented all my steps seemed to be the challenge for me. If any of you know me in real life you know that I like to do things correctly the first time through and I don't want to waste time or ingredients by messing up. This was somewhat of a test for me to take on recipes for various items that I had never made before and know that I might have to redo a step if it didn't work out like it was supposed to.

The recipe for Orange Tian was actually fairly easy to follow and put together even though all its elements needed to be made from scratch. There were essentially five parts: pate sablee (pastry crust), orange marmalade, whipped cream, orange segments, and caramel sauce.

The pate sablee, or pastry crust, took me by surprise a bit. I was expecting a flaky crust kind of like a pie crust whereas it actually resembled more of a sugar cookie. It was buttery and melted in your mouth. I didn't have any problems with this part of the recipe, besides trying to use my food processor that I never use instead of my Kitchenaid mixer.

Next up was the orange marmalade. This was an experience in and of itself. I remember when I was little and my family used to pick berries and then come home and make homemade jam. In all the years that we did that when I was younger, I had yet to make jam (or anything like it) as an adult. I probably could have minced the orange pieces smaller because they were a bit large when spreading on the pate sablee, but overall my marmalade experience went amazingly smooth.

I've made plenty of whipped cream before so I didn't figure I would have trouble with this part of the recipe. I'm not sure if I whipped it quite enough because it did seem a bit soft the moment it was out of the fridge, but it went together without a hitch.

Segmenting an orange was new territory for me. I am a visual learner so I was appreciative of the link that showed someone segmenting an orange on a cooking show. I'm not sure I would have been able to follow the directions if I hadn't been able to watch the demonstration. I should also mention here that the challenge allowed for variations in the citrus fruit used for the tian, so along with oranges I also made one with lemons and limes. Those were definitely a challenge to segment since they were so tiny and juicy. Once they sat in their juices all night they became a pile of mushy pieces so they weren't the prettiest things to work with. I would recommend using larger citrus fruit.

The caramel sauce was probably the most difficult of the individual pieces for me to make. My first batch (the two top photos) ended up going partially down the drain and partially in the garbage. Why both, you ask? Well, the fresh squeezed orange juice went down the drain and the rock hard caramelized sugar (at least the stuff I could get out of the pan) went into the garbage so no one would break their teeth on it. I followed the recipe heating the sugar in the pan until it turned bubbly, but it quickly went to brown which meant it burnt, and then immediately upon pouring orange juice into the pan the sugar turned into rock candy. Interesting science experiment but not something you want to have happen when you are trying to make a caramel sauce to soak your orange segments in.

Assembling all the pieces was a bit of a challenge. It had to sit in the freezer a bit longer than the recipe stated because the first time it came out the oranges started sliding off the whipped cream. The finishing touch: left over caramel sauce drizzled over the top. It was yummy and very rich! I would recommend doing smaller portions. The springform pan size could have served 2 or 3 and the small heart shape served one.

If you want the recipes you'll have to email me because they aren't posted at the Daring Bakers site anymore. Enjoy the orange tian!




Yay lots of pictures!
I can imagine it being very good with limes.


I love the heart shape! Very cute!


Me too, love the heart shape. You have done the orange segments beautifully.


Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Your tian looks beautiful! I had some trouble with the caramel as well. But that's why we're part of the group, right? To take on new experiences. I love the heart-shaped tian!

shelley c.

Awesome job, and amazing for your first challenge! I love the heart shape. I had the same problem with the limes - thee pieces wound up being tough to "arrange" in any kind of pretty way, but it was definitely fun to try the different flavors! Can't wait to see what challenge is in store for us next... :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums

So pretty and delicious looking! Great job!




Welcome to Daring Bakers! You did a great job with your tian. I too had trouble with the caramel, but I just kept stirring and believe it or not, it actually came back together again (eventually!). I wonder if heating the orange juice before adding would have helped?


Congratulations on your first daring bakers challenge. I love the heart shape, looks perfect.

Aparna Balasubramanian

COngratulations on a successful first challenge. Your heart shaped Tian looks very pretty.


The heart shaped one is adorable!


Yours looks really great. I will be checking back to see how you get on with the next challenge as we are both starting out on the Daring Bakers! I love the heart shape, and the presentation looks really good.

kate the bake

I was thinking of using limes with coconut cream, but time and life got the better of me so mine is a traditional orange version with a touch of cardamom. Lovely pictures!


Lovely!! You did a great job and the heart shaped Tian is just fantastic. I had issues with segmenting the oranges but after awhile it wasnt too bad!

Jess @ My Sweet Gems

Your Tian turned out great! I had the same issue with my caramel so I added a bit of juice to mine and then let it bubble and foam and it turned out better. Plus I love the heart shape.


Great work! The heart is such a great idea!

Evelyne @ CheapEthnicEatz

Congrats on your first challenge! I love the heart shape too, great job!


Aww the heart shape is so cute! I also had problems with the caramel, I'll have to try it again. Congrats!


Oooh, so pretty! It looks like you did a great job on your first challenge.


that is THE perfect heart shape. nice job, the caremel looks perfect.


I love the heart-shaped tian and the perfect swirl of caramel! The step-by-step photos are nice too--I keep forgetting to do that:)


Very nice job! I love the heart shape and how you plated it over the caramel swirl. looks just right.


Congrats on your first completed DB challenge! The heart shaped tian looks especially lovely :)

Meeta K. Wolff

welcome to the DBs!! nice to have you on board! just loving the way you have executed the first challenge - well done!


Loving all the flavours you made! Not to mention that heart - it's absolutely gorgeous!


Congrats on your first challenge! Your tian looks great! I hope you enjoyed making it as much as I did. I can't wait until the next DB Challenge =)


Looks like it turned out great: welcome to the DB challenge!


Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Absolutely fabulopus job on you first challenge. The heart shape is gorgeous. Totally agree that lemons and limes can be a bit of a challenge (*wink*).


I meant fabulous!

Poires au Chocolat

Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Looks great - I love the heart shape.


Your orange tian looks wonderful I love the heart shaped presentation.
Thanks for dropping by visit and comments are much appreciated.Looking forward to seeing you again at


You did very well for your first challenge. I remember my first one was a real flop! Lovely heart-shaped tian! This was a really nice dessert and it's interesting to see everyone's interpretation! :)


Your tian is gorgeous! Great job on your first challenge and welcome to the Daring Bakers! :-)

Eyes Bigger Than Belly

WOW!! your tian is so so cute!! I love the heart shape and it just looks so creamy and delicious!! :) YUM!! So pretty! I"m only on my third DB Challenge and loving it so far - can't wait for tomorrow to see what the new one is! :)


Beautifully done! Your heart shape tian is lovely:)


Congratulations on your first challenge and welcome to the DB! Your tian is adorable - it looks perfect. I love the heart shape.

You have a gorgeous blog. :)


Congratulations on a first challenge exquisetly done! your tians look marvelous! Perfect segments! that your last name is 'Betz' and the play on it for the title of your blog :)


Beautiful presentation!! Am sure it tasted yummy too :)