Chez Luce

Kitchen adventures on Wandsworth Common

Cheese Party May 11, 2010

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Recipe: Slow-roasted Tomato and Gruyère Tart



There is scarcely anything more comforting, in my opinion, than a great big quiche with crispy pastry and a super-cheesy filling. This tart, however, with its slow roasted tomatoes and black olives, lets me pretend i’m actualy a grown up while stuffing my face with cheese goo. It’s a winner all round…


Rhubarb and Custard reunited April 11, 2010

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Recipe: Melting Moments


You may remember some time ago I made some rhubarb sorbet to celebrate valentine’s day. Well, the poor sorbet has been dwindling away since then, and although it has been served with a few desserts, including one of it’s very best friends panna cotta, it refused to give up the ghost. Until now, that is.

Rhubarb has been reunited with it’s oldest friend, custard, in these beautiful buttery melting moments.

The custard gives the biscuits a lovely sunny yellow colour, and they literally melt in the mouth. Rather unfortunately for our arteries, the two of us managed to finish the batch of melting moments, together with all the remaining rhubarb sorbet, within one day. And if that isn’t recommendation enough, I don’t know what is.




Feeling nostalgic for your childhood in France? April 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Saigon-Bites @ 5:52 pm
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Recipe: Apple Tart ‘Maman Blanc’




…no, me either. But this tart sure looked lovely when I saw Raymond Blanc making it on his most recent series, ‘Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets.’

What I enjoy most about this programme, yeah, maybe even more than the presence of desserts served in their own edible chocolate or praline bowls, is the top-notch glowering of Raymond’s world-weary assistant, Adam. He seriously looks like every time he is asked to plug something in, or to get a bigger whisk, he is quietly plotting Monsieur Blanc’s demise. I just hopes he reaches breaking point when the cameras are still rolling.

Anyway, schadenfreude aside, this tart is delicious! As made by the famous Maman Blanc, the pastry is beautifully crisp and the apples soft and buttery. A welcome departure from our usual tarte tatin. Give it a try!




Daring Bakers Challenge February 2010: Heaven on a Dessert Plate! February 27, 2010

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Recipe: Tiramisu







The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.


Yes, as you can see this month’s daring bakers challenge was the italian layered dessert, tiramisu. I can’t say I had tried it before and this recipe was a huge undertaking as we not only had to make the sponge fingers, but there was also homemade mascarpone cheese, zabaglione and pastry cream to contend with!
I am so glad I got to try out all these different component parts. The zabaglione originally called for marsala wine but I used kahlua to intensify the coffee taste. I had previously thought that zabaglione wouldn’t really be my ‘thing’, but my god it is so thick and gorgeous, I can’t wait to try it with different flavours.


The first thing that had to be done was bake the savoiardi biscuits (ladyfingers). I did some in an onblong shape and some small circular biscuits to ultimately help fill in any gaps in my tiramisu layers. These are incredibly light and take on other flavours well, although I thought they were a bit ‘nothingy’ on their own.




Elevenses February 4, 2010

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Recipe: Coffee and Walnut Cake


Nigel slater said he would have this coffee and walnut cake for his last meal on earth, and I would be inclined to agree. But I can’t have it with a cup of coffee, oh no. It has to be tea. Proper, English, tea and cake.




Give it a try, I swear it is one of the best stress relievers… And don’t give me any of that green tea nonsense. English breakfast only.




Daring Bakers January 2010 Challenge: The World Comes to Canada January 27, 2010

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Recipe: Graham Crackers & Nanaimo Bars










The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and


I really enjoyed this month’s challenge as Nanaimo Bars are not something I have heard of before here in England. Although one of the optional challenges was to use Gluten-Free flour, I used regular flour in my crackers as GF would have been cost prohibitive for me. I look forward to trying gluten free baking in the future, though.


The crackers were made completely in the food processor and were therefore extremely quick to make. They are also delicious and are what Americans use for cheesecake bases where we would use digestive biscuits or gingernuts or something.




Appley Caramelly Goodness January 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Saigon-Bites @ 1:43 pm
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Recipe: Gingerbread-apple Upside Down Cake


I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen (one of my home-page blogs – yes, firefox takes a long time to load due to unhealthy amounts of food-porn…) and just had to make it! And, as luck would have it, the british transport system failed yet again so I was at home on a school-day.


Anyway, the recipe as I made it was quite far removed from the original but was still delicious! It makes a lot of batter, and I made 6 individual dessert portions plus a 6 inch round cake. I used russet apples, an english classic, which is currently being sold off cheaply by the supermarkets due to their dull brown appearance. What people are failing to realise, however, is that they have a much better flavour than the huge red shiny apples which sell for such a premium. All the better for us foodies, I suppose…