Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Layers of Citrus Beauty - 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.

Daring Bakers' never ceases to amaze me. Not only does it challenge me to go above and beyond recipes I would normally dare to try, but it also introduces me to new recipes I probably never would have encountered. I love adventure; I love a challenge; I love new experiences -- I love encountering these things in my travels (another great interest of mine), and now I'm able to face them in my baking endeavors as well. Hallelujah! :)

This month's challenge was an Orange Tian. Never heard of such a thing? Neither had I. Although, I'm rather embarrassed about this as it is of French origin. My Francophile tendencies apparently have a rather large gap in them. And in the culinary arena no less -- quelle horreur!

Basically, the tian is a fanfare of a dessert meant to showcase beautiful layers of flavor. And as we well know, the French are all about artistic display. Appearances are everything. They love the richness of the display.

I'm not sure if I did it justice on display, but one couldn't beat the exquisite flavor of this bombshell of a dessert. Its richness had us nearly satisfied after two bites...but, of course, my friend and I couldn't put down our forks.

In the process of forming the tian, I....

carefully segmented several oranges,

produced a delectable marmalade (which doubles as an excellent addition to morning toast),

discovered a new shortbread recipe French-style: pate sablee (perhaps the best yet!),

and melded all the flavors together with marmalade-flavored whipped cream in cute heart-shaped molds.

Thinking I should try it with strawberries next... ;-)


Shannon said...

let me know when you do this again.. woooooww..!!!!!!!!! amazing! you have true Talent Laurel! <3 <3 <3 Looks delicious too!

Christina said...

This sounds incredibly delicious, and the perfect springtime dessert!

Lisa said...

Gorgeous orange tian and photos! Well done!