Monday, March 29, 2010

Daring Bakers March '10 - Orange Tian

Snuck this one in just under the wire. I'd actually forgotten about it until I saw another Daring Baker post about hers. Panic! I quickly whipped mine up yesterday.

The only change was using a Seville orange marmalade I'd made a short time ago (from Simply Recipes) instead of the marmalade recipe listed below. Seville orange marmalade is truly an acquired taste. I myself don't like it, but Matt, my mother in law and my nephew do. They tell me the bitterness is a trait of Seville orange marmalade; I don't think I'll ever choose it for my toast, though.

Orange Tian. I would make this again but using the method for marmalade as listed in the recipe. Very pretty assembled dessert with numerous components that might turn a few people off the recipe: pâte sablée (a cookie, put simply) for the base; also an orange marmalade, caramel sauce and whipped cream. All of the components could be prepared ahead of time, however, and assembled shortly before serving.

Both Matt and I enjoyed this dessert. It's very refreshing, light, and clean tasting. Absolutely stunning visually, and because it's assembled as individual servings, it would make for a perfect ending to a lunch or dinner party.

Orange Tian
Alain Ducasse's Cooking School of Paris

Makes 6 individual desserts

Pâte Sablée

2 medium egg yolks at room temperature
6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, ice cold and cubed

1/3 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder


1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

1 large orange for orange slices

cold water

5 grams pectin

granulated sugar: the same weight as the weight of the orange slices once cooked

Orange Segments

8 large oranges


1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons orange juice

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons hot water

1 teaspoon gelatin

1 tablespoon icing sugar

1 tablespoon orange marmalade

For the pâte sablée: put the flour, baking powder, butter and salt into a food processor.
In a separate bowl, add the egg yolks, vanilla and sugar and beat with whisk until mixture is pale. Pour egg mixture into the flour mixture in the food processor. Process this combined mixture until the dough just comes together. If the dough is too crumbly, add a few drops of water and process until dough forms a ball. Shape into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick circle.
Using the same size cookie cutter as your molds will be, cut out circles of dough and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until cookies are golden.

For the marmalade: finely slice the orange. Place the orange slices in a medium sized pot filled with cold water. Simmer 10 minutes. Discard the water and refill with fresh cold water. Blanch another 10 minutes. Repeat 3 times, changing the water each time. This process removes the bitterness from the orange peel.
Once blanched, drain slices and let cool. Once cooled, mince finely. Weigh the slices and measure out the same amount of granulated sugar.

In a pot over medium heat, add the orange slices, sugar, orange juice and the pectin. Cook until the mixture reaches a jam consistency, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in refrigerator.

For the orange segments: cut the oranges into segments over a shallow bowl and reserve the juice. Add segments to the bowl with the juice. Learn how to segment an orange over at Suitable For Consumption.

For the caramel: place the sugar in a pan over medium heat.
Once the sugar begins to bubble and foam, slowly add the orange juice. As soon as the mixture starts boiling, remove from the heat and pour half the mixture over the orange segments.Reserve the other half of the caramel mixture to be spooned over assembled dessert.

For the whipped cream: in a small bowl, add the gelatin and hot water, stirring well until the gelatin dissolves. Let the gelatin mixture cool to room temperature while making the whipped cream.

Combine the cream in a chilled mixing bowl. Whip the cream using a mixer on low speed until the cream starts to thicken. Add icing sugar. Increase the speed to medium high and whip till the beaters leave visible but not lasting trails in the cream.
Add the cooled gelatin slowly while beating continuously. Continue whipping until the cream is light, fluffy and forms soft peaks. Transfer to a bowl and fold in orange marmalade.

To assemble: ensure you have room in your freezer for a small baking sheet of desserts.
Line a small tray or baking sheet with parchment. Lay out 6 cookie cutters or molds onto the sheet. Drain orange segments on towels. Have marmalade, whipped cream and baked pâte sablée ready to use.

Arrange orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter or mold. Arrange snugly, how you would arrange slices apples for a tart. This will be the top of your dessert so ensure it is decorative.

Top the orange segments with two spoonfuls of whipped cream and spread gently so it fills the cookie cutter or mold in an even layer. Leave 1/4 inch at the top for the pâte sablée.

Spread a small amount of orange marmalade evenly on each pâte sablée and carefully place that side onto the whipped cream, pressing gently to compact.
Place desserts into freezer to set for 10 minutes.

Run a small knife around each cookie cutter or mold to ensure the dessert will unmold easily. Place a serving plate on top of each dessert and flip over. Carefully remove the cookie cutter and add a spoonful of warmed caramel sauce. Serve immediately.

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.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

NYT Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies

Run, do not walk, run to the store and purchase any ingredients you may need to make these cookies. You'll have to wait at least 24 hours before baking them but the sooner you get started, the sooner you can blow your mind with what I think is finally, finally the ultimate chocolate chip cookie.

look exactly how I've always imagined my chocolate chip cookies to look. And they taste exactly how I've always imagined they should taste . Oh good heavens. Seriously. Just chewy enough thanks to the bread and cake flours plus the requisite chill time; they have the right amount of crispness around the edges and the dark chocolate disks rather than chips? Perfection.

NYT Chocolate Chip Cookies
New York Times
Makes 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 pounds dark chocolate disks

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside. Using a mixer (hand or stand), cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Do not skimp on the beating time. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Drop in chocolate and incorporate without breaking pieces.

Press plastic wrap against the dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. The dough can also be used in batches at that point, keeping the remaining dough refrigerated up to 72 hours. To bake, preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or Silpat and set aside. Scoop generous golf ball sized mounds onto the baking sheet, making sure to turn any poking up chocolate pieces on the horizontal - this makes for a more attractive looking cookie.

Bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Rotate baking sheet halfway through baking time. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes then transfer cookies to the wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Eat warm, at room temperature or even frozen.

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