Saturday, March 27, 2010

My First Daring Baker's Challenge - March - Orange Tian

Since I started this blog I've noticed that once a month Tastespotting was swamped with a million variations of the same recipe. French macaroons, Nainaimo bars, Tirimisu, all sorts of labor intensive desserts that I would probably never make; mostly because I rarely have an occasion to make such fussy desserts. These aren't things I ever crave the way I do a good lemon tart, my favorite poundcake, a big bowl the whole pint of vanilla ice cream, a chewy chocolate chip cookie, or even just a dark, dark bar of chocolate. So why would I want to make something as rich as tirimisu when I'd be happier with a bowl of ice cream and raspberries? Exactly, I need an excuse; A reason to make them.
These once a month recipe explosions are a result of The Daring Baker's Challenge.  Every month a different daring baker hosts the challenge. This means they pick a recipe and write the guidelines. There are always certain components you must make but there is also some wiggle room for you to tweak it a bit, for you to make it your own. That's when it hit me; This is the perfect way to get myself baking outside the box. Nothing says accountability like a requirement to post your results for all of blog world to read.
I'm not going to lie, when I first read this month's challenge, I was skeptical to say the least. I wasn't upset about the amount of steps involved and I was actually pretty excited to make marmalade. It was just that an Orange Tian didn't really sound like something I wanted to eat. It didn't sound bad but it just didn't sound all that good either. Never the less I committed to this and I was not about to give up before I even started. Instead I picked a night to serve it and set out to buy my ingredients.
Well, I was dead wrong. I will definitely be making this again. The oranges were refreshing with the light, airy whipped cream, and the flaky crust at the bottom really brought the whole thing together.

Orange Tian
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. I didn't have these so instead I used a 10-inch spring form pan without the bottom.

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

For the Pate Sablee:
2 medium-sized egg yolks at room temperature
6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon; 2.8 oz; 80 grams granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup + 3 tablespoons; 3.5 oz; 100 grams ice cold, cubed Unsalted butter
1/3 teaspoon; 2 grams Salt
1.5 cup + 2 tablespoons; 7 oz; 200 grams All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ; 4 grams baking powder

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 spring form pan, cut out a circle of dough and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until circle is just golden.

For the Marmalade:
The marmalade was a bit sticky and chewy from the chunky orange rinds. I happen to really like candied citrus peels so it didn't bother me but if orange peels aren't your favorite, you just chop them up finer in a food processor before cooking down to a syrup.

¼ cup + 3 tablespoons; 3.5 oz; 100 grams Freshly pressed orange juice
1 large orange used to make orange slices
cold water to cook the orange slices

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 .
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:
1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams granulated sugar
1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons; 14 oz; 400 grams orange juice

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.
For the Whipped Cream:
Gelatin grosses me out a bit so for the stabilized whipped cream I simply beat the heavy cream with cream of tar tar. It may not have been quite as stiff as the gelatin version but it worked well enough.

1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon of confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon cream of tar tar

Fit a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high until stiff. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or up to overnight.

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.


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