Chez Luce

Kitchen adventures on Wandsworth Common

Daring Bakers Challenge September 2010: Get Creative September 27, 2010

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Recipe: Iced Sugar Cookies






The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.


September, for me, has been a month of firsts. First day working for the NHS, first time on a hospital roof, first time in intensive care, first time visiting a prison (all in the name of healthcare may I add!), … and so on and so forth until… first time making sugar cookies, first time researching flooding and decorating techniques, and first time icing cookies with royal icing.





Daring Bakers Challenge August 2010: Nutty and toasty meets cool and creamy… August 27, 2010

Recipe: Petits Fours






The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.


So, another month, another new dessert to try with the Daring Bakers. When given the coice of a baked alaska or petits fours, i knew straight away that it had to be the mini sweets! I love the petits fours at fancy restaurants, and jumped at the chance to make some of my own!


I decided to make individual sized brown butter pound cakes, rather than one large cake. This helped me to control the cooking so each cake was evenly browned, and the edges were nice and sharp. I absolutely loved the cake and it was so easy to make. I am in love with pretty much anything with brown butter as an ingredient, and the nutty flavour of the butter was really prominent in these little cakes. I am now coming upwith all sorts of uses for this recipe, it is definitely a keeper!





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 April 2010: Traditional British Pudding April 27, 2010

Recipe: Sussex Pond Pudding






The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.


My previous forays into the world of suet have been entirely casserole-and-dumpling-based, so it was interesting to try something new and use suet in a dessert. It was a shame though, as we have been having unseasonable warm and sunny weather in England, that the challenge wasn’t to make something a little lighter!


I decided to go for a Sussex Pond Pudding, as I do like citrus desserts, and got the recipe from good old Delia. Can’t really go wrong with that…


The little brown bits, which you can see in the suet crust, are pieces of grain from the only bread I had left!


The pudding tasted good, if a little heavy for the beautiful sunny day we were having. Thanks for the challenge, Esther!




Daring Bakers Challenge March 2010: Orange Tian March 27, 2010

Recipe: Orange Tian






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.


Once again, this was not a dessert I had come across before, but had so much fun coming up with possible flavour combinations! For the uninitiated, here is Jennifer’s description of a Tian…


“The dessert is made of different layers: a pate sablée with orange marmalade, a flavoured whipped cream topped with fresh orange segments and served with a caramel and orange sauce.”


…which pretty much sums it up. The dessert is a beautifully light and refreshing with all its orangeyness, however the buttery pastry disc and whipped cream mean it’s an indulgent pud as well. I loved the tian, and would definitely make them for a smart dinner party. I didn’t make marmalade from scratch, as I still have loads left from when I made a batch earlier this year (you can see how I did it here).




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.




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.