Chez Luce

Kitchen adventures on Wandsworth Common

Autumn Soup – Jerusalem Artichoke and Roasted Garlic October 6, 2010

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I made this soup quite some time ago, but then left it a few weeks before posting… then another few weeks… and before I knew it, Jerusalem Artichokes were out of season. But their time has come again, I spied some on a market stall lat week so I think that warrants finally posting the recipe!



I found this recipe on the excellent website The British Larder. The photography on the site is so beautiful that it made me want to make pretty much everything on there (which would prove difficult in the absence of extensive sous-vide equpiment!). However, I came across this Artichoke and Garlic soup which was actually really easy to make.


The deeply caremelised and savoury artichokes and onions, combined with the smoky sweetness of the roasted garlic, made for amazing depth of flavour for something so beige! I urge you to try it, you will not be disappointed…



Jerusalem Artichoke and Roasted Garlic Soup
Adapted from The British Larder

For the Garlic

1 bulb of garlic
1tbs light brown sugar
1tbs water
Maldon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Cut the garlic bulb in half, place the salt and sugar in a small bowl and then dip the cut side of the garlic in the sugar salt mixture.

Place the remaining salt and sugar mix in two heaps on a lined baking tray and divide the water between the two heaps, place the garlic cut side down onto the tray, cover with foil and roast for 25 minutes, if the sugar caramel looks like burning add a drop of water and continue the cooking until the garlic is tender.

Let the roasted garlic cool.


For the Soup

500g Jerusalem Artichokes, peeled and sliced
1/2 of roasted garlic bulb, soft pulp only
1 banana shallot, sliced
1tbs unsalted butter
50ml Brandy, Madeira or white wine
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1L vegetable stock
Cream, thyme and olive oil, to serve.

Pop the soft cooled roasted garlic cloves out of the skins, discard the skins. Prepare the Jerusalem artichokes by peeling and slicing them, slice the peeled banana shallot.

Heat a large saucepan with the butter, once the butter starts to foam add the sliced banana shallot, garlic pulp and the sliced Jerusalem artichokes with a little bit of seasoning. Saute until golden brown, the darker the artichokes and onions the deeper and more intense the flavour will be. Season the soup a little at a time to prevent over seasoning.

Once the artichokes and onions are golden to dark brown deglaze the pan with the brandy, cook until the caramelised parts dissolve and the brandy is reduced to a syrup, coating the chokes.

Add the vegetable stock and bring the soup to a gentle simmer with a lid covering the pan. Gently simmer the soup for 25 – 30 minutes.

Blend the soup until very smooth, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. I used my thermomix and blended the soup for two minutes at speed 10, the powerful machine made my soup velvety and creamy, the finer the soup is blended the better the flavour, any blender will be equally as good.

Serve piping hot garnished with thyme leaves bashed together with olive oil and salt, and a swirl of cream.

Serves 4/6


Matcha Madeleines and a Big Chocolate Hit September 29, 2010

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I went to Japan Centre recently. Near Piccadilly Circus? Go see it for yourself. I nearly stayed in there forever, soo much japanese stuff… and the fresh sushi and cooked to order tempura at the takeaway counter looked amazing! I was all but hypnotised by the machine freshly grinding matcha (green-tea) powder, but I eventually managed to drag myself away with a small sachet to play with.


After looking up a lot of recipes for matcha this and green tea that, I decided on making a classic madeleine with the addition of a tbsp of matcha powder to replace some flour. I pretty much winged it but I was totally pleased with the results!



…And what else to serve the madeleines with but rich chocolate pots, all smooth and dense, garnished with some juicy raspberries… heaven…




Madeleines made as previously described in this post, with the replacement of 1tbsp of flour with matcha powder


Chocolate Pots de Crème

3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup whole milk
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 egg yolks
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp pure Vanilla extract

Prepare 4 small or 3 medium size ramekins by placing in a shallow baking pan or the bottom of a broiler pan. Set the oven temperature at 170 degrees.

In a small saucepan boil cream,and milk for a minute. In another bowl place chopped chocolate and pour hot cream mixture over. Let the hot mixture sit for 2 minutes and then stir to melt and blend the chocolate.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until well blended. Add vanilla.

Slowly pour warm chocolate cream into egg mixture, whisking until mixture is smooth. Pour mixture through a mesh sieve to cull out any lumps. Next pour or spoon into the ramekins.

Pour hot water into the bottom of the shallow baking pan so it comes about ½ inch up sides of ramkins. Cover the pan with a large sheet of aluminum foil and poke small holes in the foil to allow air holes. Place in oven and bake about 30-35 minutes.

Pots de crème are done when the outside is set and the inside still slightly jiggles. Cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Chill in refrigerator another 5 hours before serving. Pots de crème will keep in the refrigerator up to 4 days so you can make it ahead for a party if you wish. In fact, the flavor combination of chocolate and coffee will mellow into a smooth blend if kept refrigerated over a day.


Daring Bakers Challenge May 2010: Piece Montée May 27, 2010

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Recipe: Croquembouche



The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.


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.