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.

To tell you the truth, my heart wasn’t really into this challenge from the start – something to do with the FIVE batches of macarons I had to make to get presentable ones for March’s Mactweets and how exhausted I was after that ordeal…  In any case, after I picked myself up and dusted myself off, I gave myself a day to get the prep done for this multi-step recipe so I could assemble, photograph and eat it the following day!

Maybe because I didn’t overthink it, this challenge was actually a lot more simple than it appeared as I was reading through the recipe.  I completed the pastry, the marmalade, the caramel, the orange segments and the cream all in the space of about 90 minutes and then it took only about 15 minutes to assemble the following day.

It’s a beautiful dessert visually and I loved the flavours.  I was particularly impressed with how easy the marmalade was to make!  The only “sticky point” (pun intended!) was the caramel which I had to make twice (this multiple attempt thing is clearly a March theme…).  The first time it was very liquid (even though I did not use the full amount of orange juice) but it was perfect for soaking the orange slices in overnight.  The second time I reduced the liquid even more and it was a lovely colour and consistency, except it when it cooled, it was VERY thick and sticky and made the tian nearly impossible to eat as the spoon stuck to the caramel and the caramel made the cream part collapse.  You can see the spectacular mess on my plate at the end of the post.  Were I to make this again, I might simply make a regular caramel sauce, like this one, and add perhaps some orange flavour.  I was pretty pleased with this attempt, in any case, and would love to experiment with it again.

So without further ado…

Pâte Sablée

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
All-purpose flour 1.5 cup + 2 tablespoons; 7 oz; 200 grams
baking powder 1 teaspoon ; 4 grams

Salt 1/3 teaspoon; 2 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 Celsius.
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.



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.

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.


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.

Whipped Cream

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

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.

“La fin!” as my students love to say!

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69 Responses to Daring Bakers Orange Tian

  1. Mr. Neil March 27, 2010 at 07:56 #

    Personally, ditch the rest and just give me the marmalade on a nice (double-toasted) English muffin…

    Actually I think this was nice, but my teeth came out into the spoon with the caramel, preventing a proper tasting. 😉

  2. Belinda @zomppa March 27, 2010 at 08:33 #

    So fancy!! I love how the caramel sauce complements.

  3. bunkycooks March 27, 2010 at 08:34 #

    Your tian looks lovely! I participated in the challenge for the first time. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed an orange dessert!

  4. Frenchie March 27, 2010 at 09:57 #

    Even the ‘messy’ plate looks great, so I think you can call this challenge a success.

  5. candice March 27, 2010 at 09:58 #

    I think the tian looks just amazing, even with the heavy caramel! Great work, and with all that macaron making as well!! You’re a superstar. 🙂


  6. Lauren March 27, 2010 at 10:14 #

    I skipped the caramel altogether, so I guess you made my portion too ;D. Your tian looks so delicious! Ironically, my favourite photo is the one with all of the caramel on top =D.

  7. Conor @ HoldtheBeef March 27, 2010 at 11:10 #

    I didn’t have time to make this (nor the last one) but now I’m filled with remorse. It looks yum, and I don’t have any fillings so I would feel safe eating it too. Might have to console myself by shoving a Caramello Koala, some marmalade, a digestive biscuit and some milk in my mouth at once.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 28, 2010 at 08:30 #

      That sounds like a Top Chef Challenge – take a caramello koala, a digestive, marmalade and some cream and make a dessert. You have three minutes and access to all the ingredients in the Top Chef pantry. Your time starts now…

  8. maybelles mom March 27, 2010 at 11:47 #

    my heart wasn’t really into this one either, but I also thought it turned out to be pretty easy–though I too had caramel issues.

  9. Mary March 27, 2010 at 11:59 #

    Your tian looks fantastic! I was wondering where the caramel sauce was in the first picture… My sauce didn’t get so thick, but maybe that’s a good thing!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 28, 2010 at 08:29 #

      Well I actually thought my caramel made the dessert looked ugly so I didn’t make that the first thing people saw when they came to the post!

  10. Tia @ ButtercreamBarbie March 27, 2010 at 12:18 #

    great step by step photos. awesome job, it looks wonderful! i had fun with mine, using cranberries and oranges.

  11. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best March 27, 2010 at 12:48 #

    Wow Mardi! This is a true labor of love! Orange Tian is an impressively sophisticated and magnificent dessert, what an accomplishment! You’re becoming quite the baker.

  12. Natalie March 27, 2010 at 12:53 #

    Ah wow yours looks excellent, Im glad you enjoyed doing it and found it easier than you thought it would be 🙂 definately looks like you did a great job :).

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 28, 2010 at 08:28 #

      Yeah it was fun making a recipe that actually does what it is supposed to, unlike macarons!

  13. Feng March 27, 2010 at 15:27 #

    WOW this looks great! well done!

  14. ap269 March 27, 2010 at 17:54 #

    Nice step-by-step pictures. Good job on the challenge!

  15. K a b l o o e y March 27, 2010 at 21:05 #

    This looks delicious! And the pictures made me anticipate those ending ones even more. It really looks complicated to me, but then, it would.

  16. Nicole @ Making Good Choices March 27, 2010 at 21:06 #

    I’ve never even heard of this dessert before, but you make sure beautiful creations! Lovely pictures and gorgeous presentation!!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 28, 2010 at 08:22 #

      Neither had I and I was worried it was going to be too complicated but it was so much easier than I thought. One to keep in mind for dinner parties since it really IS beautiful!

  17. Jenni March 27, 2010 at 23:11 #

    Beautiful job! Your Tian looks fantastic, and the caramel looks lovely!

  18. Kim March 27, 2010 at 23:49 #

    Those look great! I too used a springform pan but then realized that size could really feed 2 or 3, not just one individual. Had trouble with the caramel the first time through as well. Great job though!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 28, 2010 at 08:21 #

      These little ans are perfect for 2, in my opinion, unless you only have a small layer of the cream. And grrrr re: the caramel – I will sort that out next time!

  19. Megan Gordon March 27, 2010 at 23:58 #

    Mardi…I need to know your tricks! How on earth do you work full time, blog more frequently than anyone I know, and still keep up with Daring Bakers among other projects? Give me your secret!!! This looks awesome–we’re overflowing with citrus here in CA right now, and while I’ve got a few desserts slated for this upcoming week, I’m keeping this one in mind.

    (and in other news, your mini SF treat is finally packaged up and will ship out this week!!!)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 28, 2010 at 08:18 #

      Well I am actually trying to cut down on my posts since I know it’s hard to keep up with ppl who post too often…. Just lately there has been a lot to post about… Thanks for the kind words and you should definitely try this one out – I would love to see your interpretation of it!

  20. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction March 28, 2010 at 00:41 #

    These look beautiful! I love citrus desserts, and I actually really wanted to make the Orange Tian, but I totally ran out of time. I still might given the recipe a try another time, even though I missed my chance on the DB challenge!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 28, 2010 at 08:17 #

      Oh Jen you would really enjoy this dessert and as I said, it’s really easy – even if you missed the challenge, you should try it!

  21. Tracey@Tangled Noodle March 28, 2010 at 01:08 #

    Each element sounds wonderful and come together so beautifully in the final presentation! I’m totally hooked by the marmalade, however – I’d love a batch of that on hand for my morning toast (or pancakes)!

  22. Divina March 28, 2010 at 02:25 #

    Mardi, you still did an awesome job. There are so many components on this dessert and each component requires time to make. I just hope I do get to taste them made by you. The orange marmalade are worth making though. I love them for dressings and marinades.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 28, 2010 at 08:16 #

      Yes learning how to make the marmalade was definitely one of the highlights of this challenge as well as the pastry which was so much easier than I had expected!

  23. Aparna March 28, 2010 at 07:33 #

    5 batches of macarons? Hats off to you. I gave up a few months back. 🙂
    I guess this must have beena dream in comparison. It looks lovely.

  24. Laura in Paris March 28, 2010 at 10:31 #

    Delicious! Looks simple, but you’re so talented that I am not sure it’s all that easy ..

  25. Cat March 28, 2010 at 11:57 #

    wow, you’re right – it’s visually beautiful. and even with the sticky caramel, it sounds like it was delicious!

  26. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz March 28, 2010 at 12:40 #

    A messy plate can be the best, it really looks great. We are to hard on ourselves with our results lol.

  27. Andrea@High/Low March 28, 2010 at 14:27 #

    Mardi – this plate is beautiful!

  28. Tami March 28, 2010 at 19:25 #

    Noooo, don’t lose the caramel, it’s my most favourtie flavour.

  29. Laura March 28, 2010 at 21:16 #

    Your tian came out looking perfect, and you did a great job documenting the whole process with photos. Well done!!

  30. Meeta March 29, 2010 at 02:12 #

    mardi these tians look simply gorgeous – a great going with this challenge!

  31. pegasuslegend March 29, 2010 at 06:03 #

    Well this looks absolutely beautiful and sounds delicious!

  32. Fuji Mama March 29, 2010 at 20:23 #

    STUNNING! As you see, mine didn’t get made. Now I’m wishing it had because yours looks so delicious!

  33. Von April 3, 2010 at 02:16 #

    This looks delicious- especially after your drizzled the caramel sauce over it!

  34. A Canadian Foodie April 6, 2010 at 08:43 #

    Simple? It doesn’t look at all simple, so I am happy that you added your time frame in your post. The step by step photos help a lot, too. I have read others, and this one has assured me it may be possible to accomplish in one morning (or less) and that it just might be worth the time spent.
    Thanks, Mardi!

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