Lemon tian for the March Daring Baker challenge
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.
Its 11:30 on the reveal date for the March Daring Baker challenge and I’m typing up my post and wrestling with a bad computer connection. After a long day taking photos with Noerah I’d much rather go to sleep… but a blogger’s work is never done, so here I am!
This month’s challenge recipe was for orange tian: a pastry/caramel/orange/whipped cream desert which hostess Jennifer demonstrated as beautifully as you would expect from looking at her blog. And yet, when I read the recipe for my heart sank a little. For one thing, I hate anything with gelatin… I just don’t like foods that wobble in my mouth. And on top of that I am not a big fan of oranges in baked goods.
So I decided to modify the recipe until I got excited about making it. First, since a tian seems to be any recipe that is presented in layers I realised I could add layers and it would just become more tianesque. I added a layer of luscious lemon mousse which has a great sweet lemon tang (like lemon curd but light and creamy). I did all the other parts of the challenge with modifications as noted: the pate sable cookies were topped with a lemon curd, then the lemon mousse and then the layer of stabilized cream. I used the caramel for designs on the plate, a good excuse for licking it clean. And the segmented lemons were mostly a garnish since I think I am one of the few people who like to eat plain lemon.
At the end of the day I did not change my mind about the stabilized cream and if I ever made this again it would be the pastry and the lemon mousse topped with fresh whipped cream instead. What I was happy about though was the presentation: I used cans from coconut milk for the molds to create the extra verticality of the little desserts which turned out quite theatrically! I was convinced they would never unmould but when I took the frozen cans out of the freezer I just warmed the outside of the can with a hot cloth and then ran a knife round the inside and they popped out beautifully.