Ruby Tians

March 27, 2010

This months challange we made marmalade. I have only made jam before in the past, as a step up from stewed fruit when we had to much produce. There’s only so much stewed fruit and icecream one person can eat, but jam lasts a lot longer. I’ve been helped much by my recent discovery of the CSR jam setting sugar in the supermarket, and used that as the sugar in the marmalade and rhubard jam I made, instead of adding pectin to set it.

The Tian is basically flavoured whipped cream on a base of marmalade and pate sable tart pastry, with orange segments and caramel topping the tart. I have to admit I haven’t eaten any yet, as the thought of all that cream at once makes me a bit queasy. I should have done like some other bakers and made half and half cream an quark (like a cream cheese/ricotta) but I guess cheese isn’t the same flavour as cream in the desert.


I made my tians in coffee mugs. I thought I could do them in pastry rings, but after I baked the pate sa ble it had shrunk! So I put it in mugs, cutting the left over pastry rounds to fit the gaps. I put in the orange segments covered with caramel on the bottom (after lining with plastic wrap), then mixed a spoon of marmalade and rhubarb jam into whipped cream to which I’d added gelatine and sweatened slightly. Then spread jam and marmalade on the discs and pieces of pate sable and put that ontop of the cream layer.

Once upended, after time in the freeze, I poured on extra caramel sauce, which was very yummy and I shall definately be saving to use up later. I’m giving two to my brother and mum, and saving the last to have with my boyfriend when he returns from work, so it’s not too rich. Hopefully he’ll like it! fussy thing.

Mandatory Blog-checking lines: 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.

For the Pate Sablee:

Ingredients U.S. Imperial Metric Instructions for Ingredients
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 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 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:

Ingredients U.S. Imperial Metric Instructions for Ingredients
Freshly pressed orange juice ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons; 3.5 oz; 100 grams
1 large orange used to make orange slices
cold water to cook the orange slices
pectin 5 grams
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 . 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.

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.

[See YouTube video in the References section below for additional information on segmenting oranges.]

For the Caramel:

Ingredients U.S. Metric Imperial Instructions for Ingredients
granulated sugar 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
orange juice 1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons; 14 oz; 400 grams

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.

[Tip: Be very careful when making the caramel — if you have never made caramel before, I would suggest making this step while you don’t have to worry about anything else. Bubbling sugar is extremely, extremely hot, so make sure you have a bowl of ice cold water in the kitchen in case anyone gets burnt!]

For the Whipped Cream:

Ingredients U.S. Metric Imperial Instructions for Ingredients
heavy whipping cream 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
3 tablespoons of hot water
1 tsp Gelatine
1 tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar
orange marmalade (see recipe above) 1 tablespoon

In a small bowl, add the gelatine and hot water, stirring well until the gelatine dissolves. Let the gelatine 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 gelatine 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.
[Tip: Use an ice cold bowl to make the whipped cream in. You can do this by putting your mixing bowl, cream and beater in the fridge for 20 minutes prior to whipping the cream.]


Fail Fail Fa Fa Fa Fail

March 14, 2010

This months challange was risotto:

The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.

And I was so looking forward to it. I love the taste and texture of risotto for a meal, and it’s something my boyfriend Steve enjoys too. But the last risotto I made was with red wine, as it was easily to hand, and he didn’t like the flavor at all. I felt so disappointed, because of all the effort I’d put in carefully stirring, getting lovely, juicy lamb to add with it. I was really a bit sad.

So I was hoping this risotto would win him back to me 🙂 at least in the home cooking stakes. I have also never made or used homemade stock in risotto, so I was excited, as that is the main flavoring in risotto, and what everyone always says is the best secret ingredient.

I borrowed a recipe from the gracious Audax to make roast chicken wing stock. It seemed a great idea, as roasted chicken is so flavourful. I don’t think my stock gelatined up, and it’s in the freezer at the minute, awaiting some free time, hopefully not too far away, where I can indeed make the risotto and enjoy it with steve.

Then a sweet risotto for me I hope, and to try arancini for the first time. But sadly with assignments mounting and due, and an engagement fantasy cake to make…for a friend and for the first time, I was being crunched from all angles, and working over time for more money also. I was just too sleep deprived and busy to complete the challange.

I look forward to introducing the stock to the rice soon, and will post pictures where I can. After being interested in the tomato and cheddar and apple flavour risottos of others on the DC site, I’ve decided that when I cook, I’ll make the stock the star, and try a simple saffron risotto.

Thanks for your patients, and well done all you who can juggle the challanges better than I 🙂