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.
Bond was downcast. He left the party but for the first time in many years, if ever at all, he was alone. True, many women had laughed at his jokes, flirted with him even, but they had all left with men much younger than he was. Not as good looking no doubt, but younger nonetheless. This was not how it was supposed to be for Britain's finest. Damn the years, Bond thought to himself. Damn the women too that had spurned his advances. Damn everything!
With a sulk and a frown, Bond slid into his Aston Martin and drove home. Alone. As he drove home, he thought about his life. He realised that after he was forced to kill Veronique, due to her betrayal, that his demeanour had changed somewhat. His outlook on life had darkened and he realised it showed. Perhaps that was why he had little success at the party tonight. He was dreading spending the night by himself and he wished, almost willed, that his phone would ring.
Ring it did and it was none other than M, requesting his presence at MI6 headquarters. His spirits lifted as he knew that he was only called upon when no one else could be depended on. He was after all, Bond, James Bond, Agent 007! Quickly he spun the Aston Martin around and headed back to headquarters.
"Good to see you again Bond." M said. "I'll get right to the point. The Chocolate Cartel in the USA are in a quandary. A group, led by this lady called Jennifer, has infiltrated the Chocolate Labour Union and all the chocolate has been reduced to shavings. The entire baking industry is in a mess."
"So you want me to kill her." James said matter of factly.
M frowned and sighed deeply, causing her very attractive bosom to rise and fall - something James didn't miss.
"James," M said softly, almost kindly. "Not everything needs to be solved by killing. You used to be much better than that."
The softness in her voice quickly faded as she returned to her commanding tone.
"To complicate matters, this Jennifer is Canadian. From Montreal, Quebec to be precise. By destroying all the chocolate, she's hoping to create some sort of diplomatic incident. You know how the Americans and Canadians are. Much like us and the French."
"Why not get the CIA, FBI or whoever it is in the US that does things to help out." James questioned.
"Well, all the US Agencies cant seem to figure this one out." M replied.
"So it's up to Britain again. As usual." James said, almost drolly.
"Well, technically Canada is stil ruled by HRH Queen Elizabeth. The White House is using that to put part of the blame on us."
Bond snapped his heels together and stood at attention at the mention of The Queen. "So what am I supposed to do?" James queried. "Since I can't kill her."
"Its really quite simple James. Make a Tian. Make an Orange Tian. Then showcase that to the baking world and show this Jennifer woman that the MI6 is not to be trifled with."
James nodded and smiled as he retreated out the door. Only problem was, he had no frigging idea what a Tian was...
Bond woke early on a Saturday morning as he was accustomed to doing. He nuzzled the gorgeous woman lying beside him as his hand sneaked along her naked thigh. She moaned softly as James nibbled on her neck. Bond noticed that she was actualyl being receptive! Things were certainly starting to look up!
Suddenly she sat upright. "Don't you have an appointment with the Chiro this morning James?" She asked him softly.
Bond cursed under his breath. Just when he thought he would have his way with this nubile woman, he was reminded of the treatment for his bad back. He quickly showered and dressed and as he was towelling himself dry, the gorgeous beauty appeared and shed her clothes. Certain things are certainly looking up, Bond thought to himself as he stared at her pert breasts. He reached in to pull her close for an embrace.
"I really dont have time for that now, James Darling. I have to take my mother to run some errands."
James quietly grumbled to himself. It was either her Mother or The Queen or her friends or The Queen or the marketing or The Queen. How was a special agent to ever get some loving in his life!
Having been spurned by the ravishing beauty, James realised that he had a little time to kill and so he decided that he would make the dough for the Pate Sablee.
The dough came together rather quickly and easily. Bond then wrapped it in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge. As he was about to leave for his treatment, the Venus like beauty strolled down the staircase in a vision of beauty. His breath caught in his throat as he watched her sashaying figure. Her watched as she bent down to pick up her shoes, admiring the pink lace that peeked out from under her jeans as she bent down. James sighed as he left the house. Time was never on his side.
40 minutes later and he was back from the Chiro, feeling a little recharged after the treatment. No doubt the recipe called for the dough to rest for 10 minutes but he reckoned a longer rest would do it no harm.
Bond decided he would next segment the oranges. He cussed and swore as he segmented the fruit. Who'd have though it would be so difficult? He wished Q was around to whip him up a super segmenting gadget. Heck, it was far easier removing the clothes off women than it was segmenting oranges. Then again, he had far more experience removing women's clothes than segmenting oranges. Bond smiled as he thought of all the undergarments he had removed in his life. Lovely Memories indeed! With his thoughts focused on lacy undergarments, he managed to segment the fruit with a minimum of fuss.
Next came the caramel. No issue here as James was rather well versed with caramel making. While waiting for the sugar to melt, James thought back to Veronique. Although she had betrayed him, she was perhaps the one woman he had loved. That was probably why he had become so cold and heartless. He decided there and then that he would change his ways. There were far more important things to do in life and his duty to Queen and Country was definitely a key priority. Bond stood up smartly and years suddenly seemed to vanish from his face. He felt a renewed vigour as the sugar turned to caramel before he added in the freshly squeezed orange juice. James then poured half this mixture in with the orange segments and let it rest.
Now it was time to bake the Pate Sablee. Bond rolled it out and decided he was going to make the Orange Tian as a rectangle. With this in mind, he cut the pastry into two rectangles - not sure if he would make two tians or one.
As the Pate Sablee baked, Bond read through the recipe again. Marmalade. He was required to make his own Marmalade!! He had two issues with that. Firstly, he didn't have enough oranges. Secondly, and more importantly, he couldn't bring himself to make marmalade. It required too much effort as it reminded him of the spy Lady Marmalade. He had had more than one night of lustful passion with her many years ago as he was just starting out in MI6. Lady Marmalade was French and educated in the art of sexual epsionage. She had tricks that no other woman he had met had ever known, far less even heard off. Lady Marmalade had just the right combination of citrus alure, oozed tanginess and the most succulent peel - all in the right places. James felt his heart racing just at the thought of her. Her undergarments were always of the finest lace and orange in colour - all the time. James sighed at the memory of her. He particularly remembered the time she had tied him to the bed. She moved to the edge of the bed, letting her long hair fall over him. she had moved up slowly, very slowly until...
He shook his head to clear the wanton images of Lady Marmalade from his head and just in time as the oven bell rang signifying the end of baking time for the Pate Sablee. Bond took the baked dough out of the oven and broke off a small piece of the extras for a taste. It tasted much like shortcrust pastry, only more flaky and delicate.
The next day, James assembled the Tian. He began by whipping the cream and then folding in the orange marmalage - from a jar! He then assembled the Tian - upside down as instructed. He started with a layer of orange segments, then smoothed a layer of cream over it before covering the whole thing with marmalade covered Pate Sablee.
He had a little extra so he made a small circular serving in a ramekin dish. Another challenge done and completed.
James beamed with pride and felt the darkness leave him. There was no longer a sense of foreboding about him and he was back to being Bond, James Bond, Jedi Master - released from the Dark Side. Oh wait, that's Star Wars...uh, where was I... Ah yes, He was back to being Bond, James Bond, full of arrogance and grandeur!
With the challenge completed and chilling in the fridge, Bond kicked back with a Martini, shaken not stirred, and reminisced about Lady Marmalade. In particular how she would wear sexy lingeries in her boudoir and whisper to him:
Voulez vous coucher avec moi, ce soir.
To which he would reply:
Coochie, Coochie, yaya dada, Come On Lady Marmalade!!
** **** ***
This dessert was served when The Lovely Wife had two of her friends over and they all loved it! The Lovely Wife sampled the small Tian and declared that it was indeed very interesting and tasty. The kids really liked it too.
I have to admit that I was skeptical about how a dessert with everything orange based would turn out but I was pleasantly surprised. This dessert was really delicious and the orange caramel is a new skill that I think I will use often!
Thanks Jennifer for a great challenge and I'm really sorry I didnt make my own marmalade. If it makes a difference, the intent was there but I just didn't have the time to pull everything together. Forgive me??!!
For the Pate Sablee:
Ingredients U.S. Imperial Metric Instructions for Ingredients
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
Salt 1/3 teaspoon; 2 grams
All-purpose flour 1.5 cup + 2 tablespoons; 7 oz; 200 grams
baking powder 1 teaspoon ; 4 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 Fahrenheit.
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.
For the Marmalade:
Ingredients U.S. Imperial Metric Instructions for Ingredients
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.
For the 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.
[See YouTube video in the References section below for additional information on segmenting oranges.]
For the Caramel:
Ingredients U.S. Metric Imperial Instructions for Ingredients
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.
[Tip: Be very careful when making the caramel — if you have never made caramel before, I would suggest making this step while you don’t have to worry about anything else. Bubbling sugar is extremely, extremely hot, so make sure you have a bowl of ice cold water in the kitchen in case anyone gets burnt!]
For the Whipped Cream:
Ingredients U.S. Metric Imperial Instructions for Ingredients
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.
[Tip: Use an ice cold bowl to make the whipped cream in. You can do this by putting your mixing bowl, cream and beater in the fridge for 20 minutes prior to whipping the cream.]
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.