DB March 2010: The one where I discover lemons are sour

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ok, no beating around the bush – I bombed with this month’s Daring Bakers challenge. Not with the actual recipe though - each component worked perfectly, and the assembled end product looked fine. Until I tasted it….erk!

Lemon-lime tian with lemon caramel sauce - just don't do it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself a little bit. First the obligatory words:
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.

The tian is basically a layered concoction which starts with a pate sablee base spread with orange marmalade. The next layer is a flavored whipped cream topped with fresh orange segments,  and the dessert is served with a caramel and orange sauce. The dessert is actually built upside down and when unmolded, the bottom layer (the orange segments) becomes the top layer - very pretty.

We had to make the pate sablee, the whipped cream filling, the marmalade and the caramel sauce. The fruit had to be citrus of some sort, but we were given free rein deciding which citrus to pick.

Innocent looking but evil

Of course, I had to be different. “I’m not going for the obvious orange and chocolate combo, not me” I thought. Somehow, I don’t think I’ve quite worked my way through the rebellious teenage phase yet. If something starts going mega-big and EVERYONE wants to be in on it, then I’d avoid it like the plague. Which is probably why I haven’t watched Titanic or Masterchef or read the Da Vinci Code.

So, here we were at citrus fruit. Was I going to choose an orange or blood orange or mandarin like a normal person? You know the answer to that one already. I picked lemons and limes and paired them with a wattleseed flavoured cream. But as I discovered to my chagrin, lemons and limes are way too sour for this dish. Who’d a thunk it? (I’d even blanched the lime, and added extra sugar to both lots of fruit segments but to no avail).

Taste aside, the dessert was pretty easy to assemble. The challenge recipe for pate sablee was easier to handle than the one I normally use. However, I prefer the flavour and texture of my go-to recipe, which contains minimal egg and no baking powder. The challenge caramel citrus sauce is very yummy though (although my version was tangy as all get out) and I’d use it again.


Layering (I lined the bowl with plastic wrap for insurance)

Yes I know it looks more like a charlotte than a tian

And that’s about all there is too say about my dismal tian. It didn’t go to waste though, we pulled off all the citrus fruit from it and ate the wattleseed cream and lime-marmaladed sable pastry base. All of us that is except Mini Critic Senior, who ate all the lemon slices and pastry , then scraped the cream off instead.  Hmmm…I wonder who she takes after?

If you’d like to see the actual recipe, visit our host or here at the Daring Kitchen. And I bet the other Daring Bakers came up with more sensible flavour pairings, so do go take a look at their work. And don’t forget the Daring founders Lisa and Ivonne, go visit their blogs too.

Have a great weekend!


SUSANNA said...


Took note of it


Karen @ Citrus and Candy said...

Too bad it didn't quite work out but that combo of lime and lemon is sublime... then again, I do love my citrus!

Love the sound of the wattleseed cream though, and btw I LOVE the products of Taste of the Bush. Have you tried their passionfruit butter?

Esi said...

Oh, I am so sorry you didn't like this. I have been a Daring Baker for nearly two years and this was the first time I skipped the recipe because I didn't love the combo we were provided with. Oh well, onward!!

Suzler said...

I'm intrigued by the wattleseed cream. I've never come across that before - it sounds really good. It's a shame the lemon/lime didn't turn out as you hoped, but your tian looks fantastic - I love that shape!

Mary said...

Ooh--I bet that was sour! The wattleseed cream sounds good, though! I brought a small jar home from Australia, but it's long gone, sadly!

Trissa said...

You are being too hard on yourself! I'd eat it anyday! Very unique to use wattleseed cream!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Awesome effort, it was a very involved recipe. This is from the girl who took 15 attempts to make a decent macaron. I know all about baking bombs.
Thanks so much for entering my competition. Just wanted to stop by to wish you a great weekend.
*kisses* HH

ap269 said...

LOL! I was thinking about a lemon tian, too, but chickened out because I figured they would be too sour. Too bad it didn't work out for you.

3 hungry tummies said...

Is lemon really sour? :) You are such a good baker, I would demand some of this when I visit Sydney next!

grace said...

i like to do things differently too, but what a bummer that the results weren't ideal this time. it's a lovely creation though!
incidentally, you're not missing anything by not having seen titanic. it's just silly. and loooooong. :)

shaz said...

SUSANNA - thanks!

Karen - That you do :) No I didn't even know there was passionfruit butter. I've been very lucky, my MIL gets these for me from the botanic gardens shop where she volunteers.

Esi - I had issues with marmalade as I don't like it but preservered anyway. It wasn't really the recipe's fault, I just underestimated the sourness factor :) But yes, onwards we go, hopefully I'll redeem myself next month!

Suzler - thanks. To make the wattleseed cream, I just stirred about 1 tsp of ground wattleseed into the cream. the flavour is like coffee and hazelnut and smells divine.

Mary - yes, it was excruciatingly sour! Thanks :)

Trissa - thanks dear, but no, it really, really was sour.

Heavenly Housewife - thank you!

ap269 - very sensible decision!

3 hungry tummies - ha ha, pretty surprising huh? You are so very welcome to comehave a meal anytime you're in Sydney.

grace - thanks for the Titanic review :) And for the kind words.

Aparna said...

Looks very nice, though. I have found to my dismay that sometimes being different can be a disaster. :)
I went with the crowd and made mine with oranges. But my daughter picked them off and eat just the other two layers! :)

Jamie said...

I laughed out loud at this and I think you so very brave. But where is the problem? It looks fabulous! And I want to remake this dessert with other flavors.

FoodLovers said...

When i made this challenge i couldnt get enough to take pictures as iam done with this my son was ready to eat it .
urs looks delicious

Y said...

Oh what a shame! Lemons and limes sound like a nice twist to the tian. By the way, don't think you're missing out on much with the Da Vinci code and Titanic :)

Tia said...

can't win em all. nice job this month tho!

pierre said...

sometimes when you don't feel it don't go !! pierre

shaz said...

Aparna- sometimes different just doesn't work does it :)

Jamie - I was quite glad that it looked presentable so at least I could get photos :) I definitely think I will give this another go because I do like the combination of cream, fruit, caramel and pastry.

FoodLovers - Thanks for being kind. No wonder your son ate it quick, it worked perfectly.

Y - thanks. I shoul have definitely been more generous with the sugar! And I didn' think I was missing out taht much ;P

Tia - thanks for the encouragement :)

Pierre - I know, I think I've learnt a valuable lesson!

Baking Addict said...

Shame about the taste but it looks nice. I've never heard of wattleseed - what is it and what does it taste like?

shaz said...

Thanks Baking Addict - wattleseed is the ground seed from an Australian native plant(Acacia sp). The flavour is very similar to coffee but it has other "nutty" undertones and also a bit of a liquer flavour as well.

Barbara said...

Funny, Shaz! No, there's no way you can interchange lemons and limes with oranges! Must have tasted very interesting! *mouth puckers*

Have never heard of wattleseed! I love learning about new things. But I bet I can't find it here!

Kathleen said...

Kudos to you Shaz for pushing the envelope! What the heck is wattleseed? Gotta google search when I'm done. Your tian looked lovely at least!!!

Lori said...

It looks pretty though. I would have liked to seen us getting a choice of what fruit to use. Thent ehre woul db enice variations to check it out. Having said that I did really enjoy the orange cherry.

MeetaK said...

wattleseeds!!! i tried them once but unfortunately do not get them here so this is really intriguing me! lovely take on the challenge!

pragmaticattic said...

Ooh, wattleseeds--very interesting! Sorry the tian wasn't as good as you hoped--the price you pay sometimes for pushing the envelope, I guess. I went for the obvious chocolate and orange . . .

Hungry Dog said...

At least you gave it a try! It sure is gorgeous. I have never heard of wattleseed but it may be my new favorite word!

Anh said...

Wattleseed! I like it a lot.

Lemon are sour. Sure. but ya know, just take the slices out and eat the cream + pastry. :)

The Betz Family said...

I too tried a lemon and lime version. The marmalade tasted yuck, so I used the orange marmalade but still used the lemons and limes soaked in the caramel sauce. It was a bit more tart but not too bad. It did look pretty though, especially that top shot. :)

shaz said...

Barbara - :)! That's why I love blogging, even when something fails, it can be used for entertaining my visitors. It did taste very interesting though.

Kathleen - thanks :) Good luck on the google mission.

Lori - good on you. I was really having an internal debate on whether to just use a different fruit but I thought in the true spirit of Daring Bakers, I'd have a proper go at the challenge recipe. Next time, I'll think it through a bit more ;P

MeetaK - Thank you so much Meeta! I loved your kumquat version.

pragmaticattic- choc/orange is GOOD :)

Hungry Dog - it's a cool word isn't it? There's also the wattle bird and of course the wattle itself (the plant)

Anh - he he, surprising isn't it ;P

The Betz Family - thanks! You sound like you had much better luck :)

Lisa Michelle said...

Oh, shaz..I'm so sorry the lemon remained way too tart for the tian. Regardless, it turned out beautiful..kind of looks more like a mini tian bombe to me - from the overhead shot, that is. Beautiful!

Julia @Mélanger said...

Well done in trying another citrus. I stuck with plain orange! The wattleseed cream sounds great.