Saturday, March 27, 2010

Daring Bakers March - Orange Tian

Have you heard of a tian? I hadn't either but what a lovely dessert this turned out to be!

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 dessert involved making several components including a citrus caramel, whipped cream filling and biscuit base, but the one that had me really excited was the marmalade. Yep, we had to make our own marmalade for this challenge!

I love jam and making it has been on my to-do list for years. I think the fact you need to sterilise jars and so on has scared me away but really, you can just make a small amount to store in the fridge and eat within a couple of weeks.

Almost everything for the tian came together really easily and I prepared all the components in one day. I opted to make just one small (4") tian as were in dessert overload that week.

In the end the only element I struggled with was the marmalade. I wasn't sure where to get pectin from but I had seen a jam setting sugar at the supermarket in the past so I went hunting for that. Once I had the sugar I needed oranges (obviously) and chose some lovely looking navel oranges. Now I think these were the wrong type to get because the pith was about 1cm thick on all of them. I blanched the oranges 5 times to hopefully remove any bitterness and it turned out fine. My issue was with the final taste. For some reason this tasted like jam that had been sitting around in a cupboard for too long. The sugar was still 1 year within the use-by date but I am not convinced. I still don't know whether it was the sugar or the oranges that gave the marmalade its strange aftertaste BUT I do know I am no longer scared of making jam!

The taste test ...

Surprisingly light! Lovely contrast between the crunchy base, smooth cream filling and fresh orange segments. I did add the citrus caramel after I took the photo but I think it was unnecessary and really dialled up the sweetness into excess.

This would be a wonderful dinner party desssert as not only does it look and taste spectacular, it can be totally prepared in advance.

Thank you Jennifer for a wonderful challenge!


  1. Your tian turned out well Susan. Glad you liked it. (In general, if you use 1:1 fruit:sugar, the pectin or am setting sugar is not necessary, so it saves that extra hunt at the supermarket.)


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