Mar 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.


What a beautiful and tasty dessert!  I decided to use blood oranges as my citrus fruit of choice.  I have always wanted a reason to use them – so this was the perfect opportunity.   There are five main components to this dessert – the pate sablee (the pastry crust), the marmalade, caramel sauce, segmented oranges and stabilized whipped cream. 

I loved this challenge since I got to learn new techniques in the kitchen that I’ve never done before – I have never segmented an orange or made my own marmalade.  I watched this video to learn the proper technique to segment an orange.  Once I started – it was pretty easy to do.   And the marmalade was even easier to make.

I halved the recipe for the pate sablee, whipped cream, oranges and caramel, to make this for just the two of us.  I used my miniature tart pan to make the crust and to construct the tian.   It made for a really pretty presentation.  And by halving the ingredients – it was the perfect amount for two!

My only apprehension about this recipe was the stabilized whipped cream.  Last year, my husband and I went on a cruise for our honeymoon and all of the desserts and whipped creams were really a jello-y texture, you could tell they had lots of gelatin in them to stabilize them – and we were really put off by it.  So I was concerned that this wouldn’t be light and fluffy and smooth – like real whipped cream is supposed to be.   Luckily, the small amount of gelatin really did not do much other than help the cream keep its shape in the tian.   Good thing – because after a few days on our cruise – we would only eat the ice cream for dessert – since the texture of everything else was so strange! 


For the Pate Sablee:


  • 2 medium-sized egg yolks at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

1. Put the flour, baking powder, ice cold cubed butter and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

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.

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. 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. Bake for 20 minutes or until the circles of dough are just golden.

For the Marmalade:


  • ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons freshly pressed orange juice
  • 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.

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).

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. Cook until the mixture reaches a jam consistency (10-15 minutes).

7. 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.

For the Caramel:


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons orange juice


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.

For the Whipped Cream:


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons of hot water
  • 1 tsp Gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon of confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade (see recipe above)


1. In a small bowl, add the gelatin and hot water, stirring well until the gelatin dissolves.

2. Let the gelatin cool to room temperature while you make the whipped cream.

3. 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.

4.  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 gelatin slowly while beating continuously.

5. 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.

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.

Thanks to Jen at Chocolate Shavings for this months challenge!


  1. The blood orange marmalade made your whipped cream turn a beautiful color! I am glad that the texture of your cream turned out well. I think I would have been hesitant, too, after your experience!

  2. it looks lovely with the blood oranges! I was leery of the gelatin in the whipped cream too, even though I've never had a cruise experience like that! I used dulce de leche to stabilize it instead, and it seemed to work fine.

  3. Looks lovely! I made mine with blood oranges too :) I was glad the cream didn't taste too gelatine-y too.

  4. Wow blood oranges are a popular choice, You are all so lucky they're in season. I miss them...

    Nicely done :)

  5. I wanted to use blood oranges too but couldn't get hold of them. Your tian looks delicious!

  6. Wow, the color is amazing. Good job on the challenge.

  7. I love the blood oranges! Such vibrant color. Great job!