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.
I was initially skeptical of the dessert; it seemed so stiff and old-fashioned - I think the ring molds and "Alain Ducasse" threw me off. I was blown away when I tasted it, it was clearly one of the best desserts I've ever made!
According to wikipedia, a tian is both the name of a French braised vegetable stew and the tall conical clay pot it was cooked in. Nowadays, it just refers a layered dish, both savory or sweet. The orange tian in this recipe has several contrasting layers:
(in bottom to top order)
1. Crumbly pâte sableé (butter cookie) base
2. Smear of tart homemade marmalade
3. Orange whipped cream
4. Orange segments marinated overnight in caramel sauce
5. Orange caramel sauce
Whew. That's a lot of layers. Yes, this is a fussy dessert, but it's worth the effort (especially if you have someone to impress). I fed it to my boyfriend while he was operating a drill press, very romantic non?