It’s clafouti season, people!! Rather, it's cherry season and that makes it most definitely clafouti season.
I've had this recipe for chocolate-cherry clafouti from the SF Chronicle sitting in front of me for a couple of weeks and I’ve been dying to make it for exactly that long. And lordy, was it ever good. I love it when cherries and chocolate are in the same sentence, and when they show up in the same dessert, I’m a happy girl.
And I do love clafouti…. a layer of fruit topped with an eggy/sweet batter which is then baked and eaten warm. mmmm…. This version added swirls of bittersweet chocolate through the batter that snuggled up next to those cherries and created a rather joyous experience, I must say.
OK, so maybe you’re saying you don’t want to be pitting a pound of cherries, but I timed it, and with my cherry pitter it was super easy and only took 13 minutes tops. That’s not bad, is it? I didn’t think so.
If you’ve never made a clafouti, summer is the perfect time to try one. They're a snap to throw together. We loved this version and recommend it highly. Here's the recipe...
Chocolate-Marbled Cherry Clafouti
Adapted from a recipe in the SF Chronicle
1 1/2 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 3/4 cups half-and-half
1 pound cherries, pitted
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I used 1 tsp Frangelico)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A little powdered sugar for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease an oval baking dish, about 13 inches long.
In a double boiler over medium-low heat, heat chocolate with 2 tablespoons of the half-and-half until melted. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Set aside. (I did this in the microwave and it worked fine).
While the chocolate is melting, toss pitted cherries with 1/3 cup sugar and let macerate while you are making the batter.
Whisk flour and remaining sugar together in a medium bowl. Add eggs and 1/2 cup of the half-and-half, and whisk well until completely combined. Whisk in remaining half-and-half and extracts until blended.
When chocolate has cooled slightly, mix 2 tablespoons of the batter with it, whisking to combine.
Transfer the cherries and any liquid to the prepared baking dish, spreading evenly over the bottom. Pour batter over and around the fruit, making sure that it is even all the way around.
With a spoon, drizzle chocolate mixture around the cherries to create a marbled look.
Bake clafouti until puffed and set, about 35-40 minutes.
Serve warm, with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Just for clarification... my original post referenced a strawberry clafouti recipe from The Culinary School of the Rockies. But the CSR was recently bought by the Escoffier Culinary Schools and the recipes from CSR are no longer available on the website. I'm really mad at myself for not saving those recipes. But alas, I did not and I apologize for that. This recipe was outstanding, though, and I hope you give it a try!