Orange Tian - My First DB Challenge!

This month I completed my very first Daring Bakers Challenge, the orange tian. I decided to join the Daring Bakers because one of the reasons I love, love baking is because there are so many different ingredients, products and methods that constitute "baking" - everything from savory breads to delicate pastry...ummmmm. YUM! To be honest, I often choose recipes to try simply out of curiosity, and I have never, ever had a problem finding eager taste-testers. My one serious hesitation about joining the Daring Bakers was meeting the deadlines to bake and post the finished product. But, since the Daring Bakers is a monthly recipe, it proved to be no problem. I'm super excited to find out next month's challenge.

Jennifer from Chocolate Shavings chose the orange tian. This tian is a layered dessert consisting of a crisp, buttery cookie crust coated with a sweet and sticky orange marmalade, followed by a layer of whipped cream, and topped with orange segments. The final touch is an orange caramel sauce. As soon as I saw the recipe, I was excited because I thought I had never made a tian before. Little did I realize that a tian is simply a layered dish - anything from a savory layered salad to a rich and decadent dessert can be a tian, as long as it is composed of clearly deliniated layers.

I was also looking forward to the recipe because I've always wanted to make homemade orange marmalade. Orange marmalade is and always has been a staple pantry ingredient in my parents' house. Tea and orange marmalade are two items you can ALWAYS find in my parents pantry. Always. For the past handful of years, my parents' daily breakfast is a cup of chai (tea with steamed milk) and a slice of sourdough bread topped with a slather of orange marmalade and a slice of sharp, white cheddar cheese. It may sound like a strange combo, but the sweet marmalade contrasting with the salty, strong cheese is actually rather delightful (my mouth is watering just thinking about it). I never bothered trying the combination until I was pregnant. I stopped by my parents' place to drop something off for my mom on the way to a friend's baby shower. On the way over, I happened to mention to my mom that I was starving and hoped they would serve the food right away at the shower. As soon as I stepped into my parents' house, before I could even greet my mom, she shoved something wrapped in a paper towel into my hands reminding me that I have to eat. I didn't get a chance to unwrap the package until I was back in the car heading to the shower. Without even looking at what it was, I began eating the jam/cheese sandwich. From that moment on I was hooked. I called my mom to thank her for the delicious snack, and after scolding me again for not taking care of myself, I could tell that she was pleased that something as simple as a cheese toast could make me so happy. Needless to say, I'll be making a vat of the orange marmalade for my parents upon their arrival after a month-long tour of the Far East. I think, er actually I know, they'll appreciate it!