Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sparkling Shiraz and Blood 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.

This layered dessert is composed of Pâte sablée (the richest of the French short pastry crusts, used to make sweet flans and tarts), orange marmalade; stabilized whipped cream, and fresh orange segments soaked in orange caramel sauce. The dessert is layered upside down and then unmolded just before serving so that the bottom layer of orange segments becomes the top layer.  Additional orange caramel sauce is then drizzled over the top.

As with all Daring Bakers' challenges, we strive to produce our own creative interpretation of the challenge recipe with different presentation and flavor variations.  The only rules for this challenge were to prepare all of the components from scratch and use citrus.
First, I looked up Tian, hoping to find some inspirational recipes and photos.  Instead, this is what I found:

- Tian (Chinese: 天; pinyin: tiān; Wade-Giles: t'ien; literally "Sky or heaven, heavens; god, gods") is one of the oldest Chinese terms for the cosmos and a key concept in Chinese mythology, philosophy, and religion...Nope, don't think that refers to a French dessert...

- An oval cooking-pot, traditionally used in Provence...Well, at least I'm in the right country...

- Describes a dish created in layers...Getting warmer...

- A French word describing a shallow, earthenware casserole, as well as the food that it contains. A tian can be of any various dishes, but originally referred to a Provenal dish of gratinéed mixed vegetables...A bit warmer, but we are supposed to be making a dessert...

- Well known in some cultures as a prepared dish with layered ingredients, the tian can be thought of as a casserole with a specific arrangement of components. From this perspective, a tian can be a hot or a cold dish. Tians also can be composed of layers of edibles that are baked or cooked in some manner. For example, a dessert tian could be constructed with of successive layers of cake, fudge, whipped cream, and some sort of topping, such as chocolate slivers or shaved almonds...Ok, so our Challenge Tian is to be constructed with successive layers of pastry, marmalade, whipped cream, and citrus segments marinated in orange caramel sauce!  Got it!

Quite frankly, the photo of the Orange Tian provided with the challenge recipe was not very inspiring; it appeared to be plain-looking pastry disk, topped with whipped cream and orange segments.  In retrospect, it was actually very inspiring in the sense that it inspired me, and hundreds of other Daring Bakers, to create something fabulous and unique while staying within the challenge guidelines.  Now, when you Google Tian, you'll have a beautiful selection of photos and recipes to inspire you!  Kudos to Jennifer for choosing such a unique challenge!

Sparking Shiraz and Blood Orange Tian

Step One:  Blood Orange Segments

For this step you will need 8 blood oranges.  Prepare the orange segments by cutting the oranges into segments over a shallow bowl, making sure to reserve the juice.  Add the segments to the bowl with the juice.

Step Two:  Orange Caramel

Granulated sugar 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
Orange juice 1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons; 14 oz; 400 grams (I used juice from Naval Oranges for this part)

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.

Step Three: Blood Orange Marmalade

1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons (3.5 oz; 100 grams) freshly pressed blood orange juice
2 blood oranges used to make orange slices
Cold water to cook the orange slices
5 grams Pectin
Granulated sugar (use use the same weight as the weight of orange slices once they are cooked)

Finely slice the oranges. 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 orange slicess 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.

Juicing the oranges

Blanching the orange slices

Blood Orange Marmalade

Step Four:  Pate Sablee

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 (I used a tablespoon of Grand Marnier in my version) 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.

You will need to decide what size dessert you are making in order to determine the size of your cut pastry before cooking.  I decided to use my four 4-inch springform pans and I ended up having a little bit of pastry left over to make a mini dessert in a ramekin.

Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until you obtain a ¼ inch thick circle.

Cut out circles of dough in the appropriate size and place on a parchment (or silicone) lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the circles of dough are just golden.

Before cooking

I smoothed the edges with a zester to make sure the pastry rounds would fit snuggly just inside the springform pans

Step Five:  Sparking Shiraz Layer

This was my twist on the recipe, with a little inspiration from Thomas Keller's Strawberry & Champagne Terrine (The French Laundry Cookbook).  We had a wonderful Sparking Shiraz at our Valentine's Aphrodisiac Party, which is the same vibrant color as my blood oranges.  I wanted to experiment by adding another layer next to the layer of orange segments.  Keller's champagne layer in his terrine contains gelatine and I envisioned it softly molding around the orange segments, adding a little more height and flavor to the finished Tians.  It worked beautifully and really enhanced the textures and flavors!

1 1/4 cups Sparking Shiraz
One envelope of powdered gelatin (about 1/4 ounce or 2 1/4 to 2/12 teaspoons)
3 1/2 tablespoons superfine sugar

Boil the Shiraz in a small saucepan for about a minute to remove the alcohol.  Measure out one cup of the Shiraz and add it to a bowl containing the gelatin powder.  Whisk the Shiraz and gelatin until combined and then whisk in the sugar until dissolved.  Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

Step Six:  Whipped Cream

Heavy whipping cream 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
3 tablespoons of hot water
1 teaspoon Gelatin
1 tablespoon of confectioner's sugar
Blood Orange Marmalade (see recipe above) 1 tablespoon

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

Step Seven:  Assembling the Tians

Drain the orange segments on a kitchen towel.

Have the marmalade, whipped cream, champagne mixture, and baked circles of dough ready to use.

Line the springform pans with plastic wrap (I did this so the Champagne would not leak out and to make unmolding easier).

Drain the orange segments and arrange decoratively on the bottom of each springform pan.  Make sure the segments all touch each other and there are no gaps. Make sure they fit snuggly and look pretty,  as they will end up being the top of the dessert.

Once you have neatly arranged one layer of orange segments at the bottom of each pan, add about 1/4 cup of the Champagne mixture.  Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes.

Next, add the layer of whipped cream and gently spread it so that it fills the springform pan 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.

This was my mini Tian in a ramekin

Place the desserts to set in the freezer to set for 10 minutes.

While the dessert is 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.

Gently release the springform pan and place your serving plate on top of the pan (on top of the circle of dough) and turn the plate over. Gently remove the pan and plastic wrap.  Add some orange caramel sauce and serve immediately.

Four-inch Tian

Baby Tian

This dessert does take quite a bit of time to prepare, but it is well worth the effort, especially with my special Champagne layer!

For the complete, original Challenge recipe and preparation instructions, please visit The Daring Kitchen Recipe Archives.

Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing this recipe with us.  It truly exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds!

Fellow Daring Bakers, bloggers, and foodies...I have one small request before you go!  I need you to help me win an upgrade to a private room and real bed (instead of a bunk bed) when I attend Camp BlogAway in May.  You can read all about this little contest here, and about Camp BlogAway, here.  Thank you!


Gala said...

Great idea adding the shiraz layer!

Mary said...

I love the picture where it's cut in half and you can see the blood orange marmalade. Gorgeous! The top layer sounds great too, and a nice variation from the caramel sauce.

Anonymous said...

The shiraz layer sounds awesome!!! great idea

Karen @ Citrus and Candy said...

Scarlet blood oranges and sparkling shiraz? Brilliant. Definitely a dessert for me :)

Anonymous said...

ooooh...this looks delicious!

shelley c. said...

LOVE the flavor combination you chose - sounds heavenly!! Great job on the challenge.

Anonymous said...

OMG, the blood orange marmalade looks mouth-watering, as does the tian. Good job on the challenge!

Chocolate Shavings said...

I'm glad my challenge inspired you, and the results look beautiful. I love the blood oranges!

Baking Addict said...

Love your version. Absolutely stunning!

bunkycooks said...

Your tians are lovely and the shiraz layer is beautiful. See you at Camp Blogaway!

Sarah said...

Your Tians are like jewels - so rich looking! The Shiraz, blood oranges and your arrangement of the segments have are stunning.

Aparna said...

Lovely flavour, colours and a beautiful Tian.

Cynthia said...

I love your blood orange and sparkling marmalade! It's absolutely beautiful. I bet the flavour is amazing too!

Memória said...

Your tian looks perfect. Great job on this challenge.

Lisa said...

One of the most gorgeous tians in this challenge, if not the most gorgeous. The color of the marmalade and blood oranges are simply spectacular, and I love the addition of shiraz Amazing as always!

Anna said...

That blood orange marmalade looks so dramatic! I love that you incorporated the Shiraz in, too. Nice job!

Lori said...

I looked on the internet too because I neede mroe information. I didnt come up with much either. In the end though you did a beautiful job. I cant wait until there is blood oranges around here.