Saturday, March 27, 2010

Orange Tian: An Epic Failure

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.

There are only a few things for me to say about his dessert- I had hardly any time and it didn't go very well.

I had to push off my dessert making to Wednesday, having been sick previously, and we were leaving town the next morning. On Tuesday night I was able to make a few ingredients, however. I'll go through my tian thingy in sections:

Marmalade: I really had no idea how to make marmalade. Let's just let that be clear right now. That being said, here's what I did; I blanched my orange slices several times, but the bitterness was still apparent, so I just continued on to pulverise (not mince) them in the food processor, adding a gluggy splash of agave nectar and later some of the juice from segmenting my tangelos. I cooked off the water and called it done. Never try to make marmalade like this- it was really gross!

Whipped cream: A lesson was learned during this challenge- you can't whip silken tofu. So on VEGirl went to the coconut whipped cream method. You just skim the solidified fat from the top of a chilled can of coconut milk and whip until fluffly, but I whipped so long it actually began to separate. Oops!

Caramel sauce: The plan to make this was lost along with the time!

Pate sablee: Abandoning all attempts at low-fat and origanality, I cut together some Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour and some Earth Balance non-dairy butter, and threw in baking powder, agave nectar, and flax eggs. Into molds and an oven the batter went (forget chilling the dough and cooke cuttering it, it's midnight for heaven's sake!). What emerged was not a flaky pastry dough, but a crumbly baked thing. It tasted okay, though, so into the tian it would go.

Orange segements: Very fun, as a matter of fact! I enjoyed learning how to segment an orange, but I actually used tagelos for my dessert. Unfortunatly, I only had eough segments for a few slices for each tian.

So how did the finished dessert taste? I couln't finish mine- the marmalade really ruined it. I have no picture becuase I couln't turn the dessert out of the little mold I provided for it, even though I chilled it in the hotel freezer. I don't think you want to look at a mold.

I hope that other peoples' tians went well, and I hope I can give this another try some time.


kate the bake said...

Hi, Sorry you had a nightmare with the challenge. I think marmalade needs loads of sugar both to balance the bitterness of the skin and to help it set. You might need to use a lot more agave nectar and then cook it down for a long time to concentrate the sugars enough to make it palatable. I made a version with limes but couldn't get it sweet enough so I reverted to the original recipe and used orange and cardamom marmalade I made last month.
Kate :)

VEGirl said...

Thanks for the tips- if I ever attempt marmalade again I will keep that in mind.
Lime marmalade sounds like it would be quite an accomplishment (but would you taste the limes with all the sugar?), however your orange cardamom marmalade sounds heavenly!

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