Blood Orange-Blueberry Tian

March 2010 – Daring Bakers’ Challenge

The March 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jennifer from Chocolate Shavings she choose “Orange Tian” as the challenge for the month for two reasons.

One, because citrus based desserts are her favorite. And two, because she also just so happen to have made this dessert first time not too long ago while attending the Alain Ducasse Cooking School in Paris, France. (How lucky is she!!)

Well, you would know I was slacking in the daydreaming department, if I didn’t add a twist to the required Orange Tian right? Hence the Blood Orange-Blueberry Tian.

Following are the components I chose to make up this delicious dessert:

  • Chocolate Pate Sablee
  • Chocolate Whipped Cream
  • Blood Orange Segments and Blueberries marinated an Orange flavored Caramel
  • Blueberry preserves act as the binding agent between the whipped cream and the Chocolate Pate Sablee base.

Blood Orange-Blueberry Tian

Chocolate Pate Sablee
by Chefettes

9 oz unsalted butter, soft
12 oz confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking soda
2 fl oz milk
18 oz all-purpose flour
3.5 oz unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine the butter, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer on medium until very light.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating until soft and light (mixture should look like buttercream).

Mix the baking soda with the milk and add to the creamed mixture.

Chocolate and Flour

Sift the flour and cocoa powder together. Stir it into the butter mixture until it is completely incorporated.

Blending Pate Sablee

Scrape the dough out of bowl; shape into a 3″ thick cylinder. (Obviously I failed to read “cylinder” part of the direction and shaped mine into a 3″ thick square. :))

Chocolate Pate Sablee Ready for Fridge

Wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or freeze for longer storage.

Preheat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.

Rolled Chocolate Pate Sablee

Roll out 1/4 of the dough onto a lightly floured surface until you obtain a 1/4 inch thick circle. (This will Yield 6 – 5″ rounds.)

Note: I rolled out 1/2 of the dough but only had 4 cylinder molds on hand. My in-house cookie monsters ate the remaining 8 baked rounds.

Chocolate Pate Sablee Discs

Using your cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough and place on a parchment (or silicone) lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Blood Orange Segments & Blueberries

Blood Orange
3 blood oranges
1 cup fresh blueberries

Cut the oranges into segments over a shallow bowl and make sure to keep the juice. Add the segments and blueberries to the bowl with the juice.

Blood Orange Segment

Fresh Blueberries & Blood Orange Segments

1/2 cup granulated sugar
7 oz orange juice

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 heat and pour half of the caramel over the orange segments and blueberries.

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!]


Blueberry Blood Orange in Caramel Sauce

Chocolate Whipped Cream

1 tsp Gelatin
3 tablespoons of hot water
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup ghirardelli sweet ground chocolate (powder)

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 and increase 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. Finally add the ground chocolate and continue whipping until the cream is light, fluffy and forms soft peaks.

[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. (I used four 5″ cylinders)

Drain the orange segments and blueberries on a towel.

Have the baked rounds, whipped cream, and preserves ready to use.

Blueberry Blood Orange Layer

Fan the orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter/cylinder(mold). Fill all gaps with blueberries. Make sure they fit snuggly and look pretty as they will end up being the top of the dessert. Arrange the orange segments as you would sliced apples when making an apple tart.

Blueberry Blood Orange Layer

chocolate Whipped Cream Layer

Once you have neatly arranged one layer of orange segments and blueberries at the bottom of each mold, add a couple spoonfuls of whipped cream and gently spread it so that it fills the mold 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 blueberry preserves on each circle of dough.

Tian ready to chill

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.

Blood Orange-Blueberry Tian

For Jennifer’s original Orange Tian recipe please visit The daring Kitchen.



Chocolate Caramel Macarons

Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes, it was so interesting to learn what everyone’s favorite birthday dessert was, as expected there were a wide variety of treats mentioned.

I had a great birthday yesterday. Oh, but the festivities haven’t ended there is more planned for today… I guess I’m still a little spoiled.

I’m working on tabulating the results to share with you on Monday when I post the winner of the Daydreamer Birthday Giveaway who will win a beautiful copy of “The Modern Cafe” by Francisco J. Migoya one of the fabulous professors at the Culinary Institute of America.

But, today we are here to celebrate the Beautiful Macaron, for today is Le Jour du Macaron!

I chose to make Choclate Caramel Macarons…

Chocolate Macaron Shells

Chocolate Caramel Macarons

Chocolate Caramel Macarons

Chocolate Caramel Macarons
Chocolate Caramel Macaron stairway to heaven
Chocolate Caramel Macarons
Chocolate Caramel Macarons

Chocolate Caramel Macarons

Adapted from Tartelette’s basic recipe

Chocolate Macaron Shells
90 grams egg whites (roughly 3 egg whites)
25 grams granulated sugar
200 grams powdered sugar
94 grams blanched almond flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Prepare the eggs:
48 hrs in advance, separate the whites from the yolks and place the whites in a super clean bowl. Leave at room temp, uncovered or loosely covered with a towel at least 24 hrs. Refrigerate after that if desired. You can use eggs that have been “aging” for up to 5 days.

Prepare the macarons:
Place the powdered sugar, almonds, and cocoa powder in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Sift a couple of time to remove bits and pieces. Regrind if necessary. You can also use a coffee grinder for the nuts.

Once your nuts and powdered sugar are mixed together, rub them in between your fingertips to break the bigger pieces.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, (think bubble bath foam) gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue (think shaving cream). Do not over beat your meringue or it will be too dry.

Add the nut, powdered sugar, and cocoa mix to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit.

If using convection: preheat the oven to 280F. If using regular electric or gas, preheat the oven to 300F.

When ready, bake for 18 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool.

My initial intention was to make these chocolate caramel macarons as a chocolate macaron shell filled with fleur de sel caramel sauce.

But after my taste test, I felt they needed a little kick, so I decided to whip up a little dark chocolate ganache. The result… think Rolo in macaron form. Yumm!

Here is the recipe for the Fleur De Sel Caramel sauce.

Dark Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup bittersweet (60% cocoa) chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream

In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and the heavy cream. Microwave in 30 second intervals at 50% power until the chocolate has melted making sure to stir the ganache in between each interval.

Chocolate Caramel Macarons

Chocolate Caramel Macarons

Chocolate Caramel Macarons

{ 1 comment }

Due to a tool/instrument “malfunction”, this recipe turned out to be caramel sauce instead of “Caramels”.

Once I purchase a new Candy Thermometer I will re-attempt to make these, and not to worry… I still have plenty of the homemade salt that Salty Seattle gave me during the foodie gift exchange on my recent trip to New York for “Kelly’s Cake-off for a Cause”.

Homemade salt

Hmm… on second thought I hope it wasn’t because I switched out the glucose for blue agave sweetener? Anyone?

Fleur de sel Caramels
adapted from The Modern Cafe by Francisco J. Migoya

61g Blue Agave Sweetener
411g sugar
5g fleur de sel (In my case Salty Seattle homemade salt)
328g butter
194g heavy cream

Fleur de sel caramel
Combine the blue agave sweetener, sugar and salt in a heavy pot. Cook until it reaches 293 F. (This is done as a dry caramel with no water, so it will need to be stirred frequently).

Fleur de sel caramel

Meanwhile, combine the butter and cream in a sauce pot and bring it up to a boil.

Once the sugar mixture reaches 293 F., slowly and carefully pour the cream and butter into the pot with the sugar, whisking constantly.

Bring the mixture up to 252F, stirring constantly. Pour into the prepared steel frame.

I think this is the reason why my caramels didn’t set, it looked as if though the candy thermometer had reached 252F but there were several lines and not one solid line reaching the 252F mark. I’m now guessing the actual temperature was somewhere between 240F, so if you want to make caramel sauce instead of caramel candy make sure your thermometer stays under 250F.

Let the caramel cool to room temperature.

Once cooled cut into squares using the guitar or by hand with a thin sharp knife.

Wrap each piece with cellophane squares.

Reserve in a dry, cool place, in an airtight container or package. Discard after 6 months.

If you happen to have an instrument/tool malfunction during your Fleur De Sel Caramel making too… this a good recipe you can use your caramel sauce in.

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Have you heard about the the Stir It 28 event making its way across the country? Or perhapps seen the #stirit28 hashtag on Twitter?

Well I’m delighted to be a part of this nationwide effort to raise money for Haiti Relief. This special event will take place in four major cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and New York.

If you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, no worries you still have time!

You can purchase your ticket at or Click the link that says “Purchase Tickets For STIR IT 28 Culinary Event-Feb. 21st”. Be sure to indicate you are buying a ticket for the LOS ANGELES event. Email once you have purchased, and you will receive the address.

Los Angeles Stir It 28 Soirée Details

Free valet offered by Logistic Parking ( for the first 50 cars, so arrive early!

Los Angeles: Sippity Sup’s house in the Hollywood Hills Contact GREG for the address. 4-7 pm. $30 in advance; $35 at the door
*Complimentary Valet will be available for first 50 attendees!

For more information, please review the official press release here. Or, look up the Twitter hashtag #stirit28 !

If you are still undecided whether you should attend or not. Perhaps the following will help:

We have an amazing line-up of bloggers, caterers and home cooks who will prepare an extensive list of appetizers and desserts.

Gisele Perez of Small Pleasures Catering was recently listed in KTLA’s Top 5 Best Caterers of 2009. She will create an interactive bruschetta bar with various spreads and toppings such as herbed goat cheese and caramelized onions and figs. She will also have a dessert bar featuring six different sweets, including white chocolate lemon curd swirl cheesecake and profiteroles with chocolate fondue.

Barrie Lynn Krich, The Cheese Impresario, will have a cheese table set up where you can ask her questions about cheese pairings while you grab bites from her artisanal cheese plates.

The long list of bloggers who have offered to create special hors d’oeuvres and desserts include:

Chrystal & Amir Duo Dishes
Austin, Austio’s Catering
Michael, Southbay Foodies
Diana, Diana Takes a Bite
Cathy, Gastronomy Blog
Andrea, L.A. Easy Meals
Esi, Dishing Up Delights
Greg, Sippity Sup
Patti, Worth the Whisk
Erika, In Erika’s Kitchen
Cynthia, Furey and the Feast
Krissy & Daniel, The Food Addicts
Jennifer, Domestic Divas
Nastassia, Let Me Eat Cake
Nancy Goodman, Food Art LA
Anisha, Food Is My Nish
H.C., L.A. and O.C. Foodventures
Mary, The Food Librarian
Craig, Hipcooks
Jenn, Bread + Butter
and of course yours truly Daydreamer Desserts.

Not only will you have to opportunity to sample some great dishes prepared by the above mentioned food bloggers. Grey Goose and LA brand attaché Christophe Namer have partnered with Natalie Bovis-Nelsen of The Liquid Muse to create signature vodka cocktails, including “Hearts for Haiti” Grey Goose L’orange, homemade syrup made with Martini & Rossi Vermouth, fresh grapefruit juice and Martini & Rossi prosecco. Natalie will also present specialty sangrias featuring Sutter Home and Fre Alcohol-Removed wine, in addition to her Sparkling Pomegranate Snowflake from Preggatinis ™: Mixology for the Mom-To-Be.

Several fun raffle items are available to win with the purchase of a $1 raffle ticket at the door.

The offerings include The Liquid Muse’s Preggatinis gift basket (featuring the book, two signature cocktail glasses and a shaker and muddler in a reusable white wicker basket), an gift pack, cookbooks from Abel & Cole and Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, and a gift certificate to OpenSky.

So, purchase your ticket(s) today at Flanboyant Eats or Coco Cooks! Click the Stir It 28 logo image that says “Purchase Tickets For STIR IT 28 Culinary Event-Feb. 21st”.

If you would like to attend Stir It 28 in one of the other three cities here are the locations that will be hosting this event:

Atlanta: Space Atlanta – Eat Drink Enjoy
1310 White Street, Atlanta, GA 30310. 4-7 pm. DJ Rev Lee spins music and special surprise guest appearance by local performer that will electrify you! Complimentary wine by Montaluce Winery. Cash bar. $30 in advance; $40 at the door.

Chicago: Three Peas Art Lounge
75 E. 16th Street (Between Michigan and Wabash)
Chicago, IL 60616. 4-7 pm. $30 in advance; $35 at the door.
*cash bar & delicious cupcakes for sale

New York: NYU Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health
35 W. 4th Street, 10th floor, NY, NY, 10012. 4-7 pm
Advanced ticket sales only: $20 for students and $30 for adults/faculty & staff.
Students must pay via the PayPal General Online Donation button on Flanboyant Eats and Coco Cooks and indicate “NYU student ticket” in notes. Must show student ID at the door.
*Street parking and parking garages within walking distance

Be sure to indicate the specific city you are buying a ticket for in the seller’s notes, and you’ll be all set.

Help me spread the word, and see you Sunday!

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Burnt Orange Panna Cotta

Some thoughts on burning…

Here are a few scenarios in which burning is not quite a good thing:

  • Getting called out for something you know you did wrong and didn’t want to admit. BURN!!!
  • Thinking you are getting a good deal, then come to realize you got burned.
  • Not wearing any sunscreen and end up with a terrible sunburn.

These on the other hand, I don’t mind in the least:

  • Burning a few calories during a workout or other activities.
  • Burning through a few gallons of gasoline on a nice drive.
  • Burning some wood in the fireplace.
  • The sun burning off the fog.
  • And last but not least… Burning a little orange zest to make this very yummy dessert, a very good thing!

Burnt Orange Panna Cotta

from The gourmet Cookbook

1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3/4 cup sour cream
2 navel oranges

Lightly oil six 4-ounce molds or ramekins.

Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small bowl and let stand for about 1 minute to soften.

Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, salt, and 1 cup heavy cream in another small bowl.

Heat granulated sugar in a dry small heavy saucepan over moderate heat, without stirring, until zest is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir cream mixture and carefully add to caramel (it will bubble and harden). Cook over moderately low heat, strirring, until caramel is dissolved. Add gelatin mixture and remaining 1 teaspoon zest and stir until gelatin is dissolved.

Stir in orange juice, remove from heat, and let stand just until cooled to room temperature.

Pour caramel mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.

Beat remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream in a small bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds soft peaks.

Whisk sour cream in another small bowl until smooth. Fold whipped cream into sour cream, then fold into caramel mixture until well combined.

Spoon into molds and refrigerate, covered, until firm, at least 8 hours.

When ready to serve, dip molds into a bowl of hot water for about 30 seconds.

Then run a very thin flexible knife around the edge mold, while tilting mold so panna cotta pulls away from side.

Invert mold onto center of a dessert plate, holding mold and plate at a 45-degree angle so panna cotta slips out. let panna cotta stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Top your Panna Cotta with a drizzle of dark chocolate syrup, a couple of sections of orange and if you really want to go all out… how about sprinkling the tops with a few chocolate covered cacao nibs. Mmmm, mmmmm, mmmm!