Saturday, 18 August 2012

Chocolate Swirled Clafoutis - We Should Cocoa 24

As soon as I heard that Janice of Farmersgirl Kitchen had picked cherries as the special ingredient for this month's We Should Cocoa, I had clafoutis in mind. For Christmas I received a beautiful red clafoutis dish from my mother and although much admired, I hadn't actually used it yet. This was the spur I needed.

Clafoutis is a simple dish which hails originally from the Limousin region of France where black cherries grow in abundance. The cherries should be cooked in the batter unpitted as the stones are meant to impart an almond flavour to the batter if left in. This is certainly how I remember it being served when I was living in Switzerland. In fact the very mention of clafoutis takes me straight back to my au pair days there many years ago. It was my first taste of the dish and also my first and only experience of an abundance of cherries - they seemed to grow everywhere. It should be served warm, rather than hot which allows the batter to firm up a bit and the flavours to be more prominent. If any fruit other than black cherries are used, it is no longer a clafoutis, apparently, but a flaugnarde.

When I checked through my books, using the wonderful Eat Your Books (head to my sidebar), I only had one recipe for a classic clafoutis (Clafoutis Limousin) and that was in The Cranks Bible by Nadine Abensur. It just needed a little extra something of course - chocolate. Cherries and dark chocolate are a classic combination, you only have to think Black Forest Gateau. So I thought I'd try swirling some chocolate through the mix to add a nice contrast and hopefully look good too. I made half of the quantity given, substituted reducrrant liqueur for cognac and left out the additional egg yolks. I also stuck to tradition and didn't pit the cherries as Nadine directed. Apart from anything else, they are a pain to remove and easy enough to spit out, or did I mean delicately extract, when eating.

This is what I did:
  • Buttered my clafoutis dish.
  • Sprinkled a dessertspoon of rose (caster) sugar over the base.
  • Scattered 250g of large washed sweet black cherries around the dish.
  • Whisked 30g of rose sugar with 2 large hens eggs until well incorporated.
  • Whisked in 1/4 pt double cream and 1/4 pt milk.
  • Sifted in 1 tbsp wholemeal flour, 1 tbsp white flour and a pinch of Pink Himalayan salt and folded into the egg mixture until just about smooth.
  • Poured batter over the cherries.
  • Melted 50g milk chocolate (G&B 35%) with 20g of unsalted butter in a pan over low heat.
  • Poured this over the batter in an attempted swirly pattern.
  • Spooned 2 tbsp redcurrant liqueur over the top.
  • Baked at 190C for 30 minutes.
The chocolate effect was more of a drizzle than a swirl, but I was nonetheless pleased with the result and I'm raring to do it again. Because it looked so good, I didn't dust icing sugar over the top as tradition demands.

Simple thought it may be, the clafoutis tasted absolutely delicious. The batter had transformed into a creamy custard which reminded me of creme caramel. CT thought the chocolate gave it a caramel quality which supported my finding. The cherries were delicious and the stones really did give an extra hit of almond. We both liked chocolate being swirled through the batter rather than thoroughly mixed in as it gave a nice contrast of flavours. In one of CTs mad moments, he reckoned that the chocolate taste punctuated his consciousness intermittently as it swirled around his mouth. It was not overly sweet, but very very tasty. We both agreed that this was comfort food at its most satisfying but without the stodge factor which is what you want in the summer, even though summer has failed to materialise this year.

I am also linking my clafoutis to Cook.Eat.Delicious-Desserts, a monthly event created by Cook Eat Delicious. Hosted this month by Culinary Vibes, the theme is chocolate - how could I resist!

46 comments:

  1. Great recipe and bang on season too. I've never tried a clafoutis before but I'm eager to now I've seen your post.

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    1. So worth having a go Chele. I've had good and not so good - this one was the best :)

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  2. That looks great! I love the idea of drizzling with chocolate, it makes it look so pretty. I can just imagine how delicious this must taste! Cherries always remind me of my childhood holidays in France where we had huge, glossy black cherries for dessert - yum!

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    1. Childhood holidays in France and feasting on cherries sounds like an excellent memory to hold.

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  3. Whoops can’t spell! Meant to say-that looks so pretty with the chocolate swirls!

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    1. Thanks GD, I was rather pleased with the effect.

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  4. OOh yes please, that sounds lovely, (spitting aside). I keep meaning to make clafoutis but haven't yet. Now I definitely will. Our friend who supplies us with cherries, found that they were all split this year - it was a very sad day.

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    1. Not into spitting Kath? What a shame about the split cherries. Does that mean they are in no fit state for eating?

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  5. That looks wonderful and I didn't know it had to be cherry to earn the name. Love the dish too :)

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    1. Thanks Jac, I'm very fond of the dish, even if this was the first time I've used it! I suspect there is quite a bit of controversy about the name.

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  6. This clafoutis is delicious and looks great too! I know this French cake. It is very popular in Italy too. Yum!

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    1. Thank you Alida. I hadn't thoguht of this being something that would be eaten in Italy. Have you made it?

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  7. Ohhhh gorgeous!!! I love baking clafoutis...

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    1. Would be interested to know how you do it - will have to come over and find out!

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  8. Wow that looks stunning. The chocolate streaks make it look so appetising. Love the thought of digging into this

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    1. Thanks Katie, I can feel another one coming on ;-)

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  9. your clafoutis reflections are interesting - I had never heard it had to have cherries to be called clafoutis! It has never been something that has interested me that much but I quite fancy it with chocolate - everything taste better with chocolate, right? And it does make it look pretty too.

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    1. Oh Johanna, it's a classic pudding which just has to be tried - the chocolate gives it an added edge of sophistication.

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    1. and luckily it was delicious ;-)

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  11. It is stunning Choclette! Love your dish too, it makes such a difference when you have exactly the right equipment.

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    1. Thanks Janice. I'm usually the last person to have just the right thing, so it's quite good to be Up There for once ;-)

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  12. This looks gorgeous! I have never made clafoutis but I do love to eat it! I love anything chocolate and cherry too!

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    1. Thanks Lottie, cherry and chocolate is a fab combination but I think this clafoutis would be nearly as good without it ;-)

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  13. I love cherry clafoutis but I've never added chocolate - nice idea. Apparently, the Académie Française some years ago officially defined clafoutis as simply being made with fruit and not necessarily cherries. There were howls of protest from the Limousin and they were forced to change the definition - it officially must be cherries.

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    1. Ah Phil, should have known you were the one to ask about this. It's fairly unusual for the Academie Francaise to be overturned. Those Limousins, must have put up a racket.

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  14. Great minds think alike. I did a chocolate-cherry clafoutis last month, but not as a pretty drizzle but more in the manner of a marble cake with half the batter chocolate added. Not as photogenic though! Very pretty.

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    1. Oh your clafoutis sounds very interesting Kellie, I'm off to have a look now.

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  15. This looks delicious - love the chocolate swirls! I've never actually tried a clafoutis and now I want one!

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  16. This is another fantastic idea by adding some chocolate into a cherry clafoutis! Lovely! :)

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  17. I never knew that clafoutis had to have cherries in it! I think I'd take the stones out, personally, it's hard to spit out a cherry stone with any decorum - or am I doing it wrong? Either way, this sounds gorgeous. Leftovers good for breakfast, I presume?

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  18. Amazing...a clafoutis with chocolate...you really can get chocolate into anything!! This looks delicious! :-)

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  19. Looks stunning - like an abstract painting!

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  20. Looks scrummy! I love the dish, I don't suppose you know where it's from?

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    1. It's a beautiful dish isn't it. A present from my mother for Christmas. It's an Emile Henry dish, widely available, including via Amazon.

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  21. Looks and sounds delicious Choclette! I've never tried clafouti before but it's definitely something I'd like to try. What's not to love about comforting chocolate, cherry and subtle almond flavours!

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  22. I.love these look fantastic and delicious!

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  23. Chocolate and cherries are a match made in heaven, and what a pretty pan to make this in!

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  24. oh choclette it looks like heaven!... absolutely stunning!... I love the bowl too, how perfect is that? I made clafouti about 2 years ago and I wasn't really a fan, it was a bit to custardy for me but I can imagine with the added chocolate it would lift it beyond anything I could argue with... really fabulous looking pudding!

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  25. I like this kind of clafoutis, Chocolette. I agree with you that there is no need to dust it with icing sugar: the chocolate swirls are very pretty and appealing.

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  26. Gorgeous Choc, and how lovely to see your clafoutis dish in action! We can finally get them here, but I'm yet to add one to my collection - not sure where I'd store it! Another friend put me onto Eat My Books yesterday - good to know you find it useful as well!

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  27. What a ingenious idea!!! for now on my favorite clafoutis

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  28. This looks lovely. I recently made a peach clafoutis but having read this I should change it to flaugnarde!

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  29. This looks stunning! Never even tried clafoutis but now I'm very tempted...

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  30. The cake looks amazing. A bit too complicated for me to attempt though.

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