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  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on March 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Orange Tian   

    Daring Bakers 27th Challenge: 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. As Jennifer describes it:

    “The dessert is made of different layers: a pate sablee with orange marmalade, a flavored whipped cream topped with fresh orange segments and served with a caramel and orange sauce. You build the dessert upside down and then unmold the dessert so that the bottom layer (the orange segments) becomes the top layer.”

    I split the making of this dessert over two evenings. Made the sablé cookies and the marmalade on the first night, and the whipped cream, caramel and fruit prep on the second night. I really liked the recipe for the sablés, although I grabbed the rum extract instead of the vanilla extract. Ooops!  🙂  And I appreciated the chance to make marmalade from scratch. It’s one of my favorite jams. I even found some Seville oranges in my favorite baking store. I’m not sure my caramel turned out the right way, though. Seemed very liquid, but tasted good nonetheless. I cheated a bit with the assembly, as I did not have the right amount of ring moulds. I built the cookie from the bottom up instead of the other way around. I only made one Tian, for the photo shot. I don’t have a ready audience for the immediate serving recommended. I think I’ll use the remaining cookies and whipped cream and jam to make a variation of one of my favorite childhood cakes: cookies sandwiched and coated with whipped cream. My mom used to make it, using chocolate wafers. Hmmmmm…. Especially with that rum flavouring…

    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 (see photo). 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:

    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.

    • Christine 4:49 pm on March 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Wow your orange tian looks really beautiful. I bet they are yummy too. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’ll try this out.

  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on March 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Risotto   

    Daring Cooks 11th Challenge: Risotto 

    The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.

    I was glad to see this challenge. For one, I love risotto, and two, I have made it many times. So, perhaps not so much of a challenge for me, but I was grateful for a familiar challenge. February had been nuts with the Olympics in town — which is why I never got around to the Daring Bakers’ challenge of tiramisu — and March kicked off with my oven going on the fritz. My new one should be hooked up Sunday (today). Eleanor and Jess added a component to this challenge by requiring we also make the stock to be used in the risotto. Gosh darn, wouldn’t you believe I had some homemade already frozen. So, I spent a relaxing 45 minutes on Thursday night completing this challenge. I paired the rice with some left over General Tao chicken. A nice fusion of italian and chinese. I used a prosecco wine for my first liquid laddle. Hmmm…Hmmmm….


    Preparation time:
    Stock: 20 minutes prep time, 3 hours cooking.
    Pumpkin Risotto: 10 minutes prep time, 20-30 minutes cooking. ,
    Lemon Risotto: 10 minutes prep time, 20-30 minutes cooking.

    Equipment required:
    • 5 Litre stock pot, or other large pan
    • knife
    • chopping board
    • tablespoon
    • teaspoon
    • sieve
    • ladle
    • hand blender (optional)
    • wooden spoon or other stirring implement
    • grater
    • saucepans
    • measuring cups
    • scales

    Chicken Stock

    1 large chicken 2-3 pounds about 1 kg
    chicken bones 2-3 pounds 1 kg
    2 onions, roughly diced
    1 medium leek – white part only, roughly diced
    2 sticks celery, roughly diced
    2 cloves garlic, halved
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 tsp. white peppercorns ( Any type of whole peppercorn will do)
    2 bay leaves (fresh or dried, it doesn’t matter.)
    peel of 1/2 lemon
    1/4 tsp. allspice


    1. Wash the chicken and bones and places in a 5 Litre pot, cover completely with water and bring to a boil
    2. Skim away any scum as it comes to the surface
    3. Add the vegetables and bring back to a boil
    4. Add the rest remaining ingredients and simmer very gently, uncovered for 1.5 hours
    5. Carefully lift out the chicken, set aside. The chicken meat can be removed from the chicken, shredded off and used for other things like soup!
    6. Simmer the stock gently for another hour. At , at the end you should have around 2 Liters
    7. Carefully ladle the liquid into a fine sieve, the less the bones and vegetables are disturbed in this process the clearer the stock will be. 
The stock is now ready for use. Freeze what you don’t need for later use.

    Risotto Base

    Ingredients:olive oil 2 fluid oz 60 ml
    1 small onion, quateredrice 14 oz 400g
    Any type of risotto rice will do. I use Arborio but the recipe itself says Vialone Nano. Another to look for is Carnaroli.
    white wine 2 fl oz 60 ml
    chicken or vegetable stock , simmering 2 pints 1 L


    1. Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Fry for a few minutes to flavour the oil then discard. (We diced ours and left it in as we like onion).
    2. Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast slightly.
    3. Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated.
    4. Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width (about an inch or two). Don’t actually stick your finger in, it will be hot. Just eye it off.
    5. Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed.
    6. Repeat Step 5 making sure to leave aside approximately 100 ml. of stock for the final step. .
    7. Repeat, save 100ml for the final stage.
    8. Once you are at this point, the base is made. You now get to add your own variation.
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