Daring Bakers March: 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.
I had only heard of vegetable tians before, so this challenge was yet again a new discovery on the never ending journey around all things sweet. Alain Ducasse's orange tian consists of a pate sablee with orange marmalade, a flavored whipped cream topped with orange segments and a caramel-orange sauce.

We made this dessert over the course of two days, because it is quite involved even if neither of the steps were too tricky. I opted for blood oranges since they are in season now, and I just love their color. We don't have any round cookie cutters, so we once again turned to the animal kingdom to shape our tians. The tian is supposed to be a very elegant dessert, but I guess this way it's more playful than elegant, even if the taste is still very refined.
I present you with the Bunny Tian and the Fishy Tian!

Thank you Jennifer for a lovely challenge - we will make it again! To see the other Daring Bakers' creations, go to the Daring Kitchen. There you will also find the recipe!


Banana and Dulce de Leche ice cream

I made this ice cream in maybe November I think, but never got around to blogging about it then. We have of course eaten it by now, and I forgot to take pictures. But it was delicious, and we haven't written anything in the blog for ages, so here it is, the recipe sans photos. It feels like we only do the Daring Kitchen challenges for the blog now, and maybe a Paper Chef challenge here and there, but we've gotten awfully bad at blogging about other stuff we eat. Too much going on in life I guess.

Banana ice cream with Dulce de Leche

6 large bananas (500 g of banana pulp)
2 g gelatin (1 sheet)
½ vanilla bean
150 g milk
10 g honey
60 g egg yolks (about 3)
40 g sugar
1 orange, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
100 g confectioner's sugar
2 cl dark rum
dulce de leche

The dulce de leche needs to be made beforehand. Take a can of condensed milk, and put it unopened in a pot of hot water. The water should always cover the can. Boil for about 2 hours, refilling the pot with hot water as necessary. After boiling, the condensed milk will have turned into a creamy caramel-like sauce - dulce de leche. Let the can cool completely before opening it.

To make the banana ice cream:
Put the gelatin sheet in a bowl of cold water and let it soak at least 10 minutes.
Put the bananas in a mixer together with the orange and lemon juice, confectioner's sugar and rum. Mix until smooth and well blended. Set aside.
Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds into a small saucepan. Do not throw away the leftover vanilla bean, put it in a small jar of sugar to make your own vanilla sugar! Add the milk and honey, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let it stand for 15 minutes.
Whip the egg yolks and the sugar lightly, add the milk and mix quickly. Pour it back into the saucepan and heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened a little and reached a temperature of 85°C.
Remove the gelatin sheet from the water and put it into the milk-egg mixture. Do not squeeze the gelatin to remove the excess water, just drop the wet gelatin sheet into the pan. Stir until the gelatin has melted. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer into the banana mix. Stir.
Pour the ice cream batter into your ice cream maker and churn until it is smooth and quite firm. In my ice cream machine, this took about 30 minutes.

Keep the ice cream machine running while dolloping dulce de leche into the ice cream. I can't give you any exact amounts, just eyeball it. The idea is to get little dulce de leche-surprises while eating the ice cream - there should be little pockets of yummy gooey-ness. So you don't want to mix the dulce de leche completely into the ice cream. When you are done, transfer the ice cream to plastic boxes and put into the freezer.