Chocolate Chip Clafoutis
The bright pink-covered cookbook that emerged from our brains almost two years ago contains a lot of recipe wins, recipes I use all the time. Even though I should have memorized the recipe, I’ll breezily flip to page 92 when friends are coming for dinner, in order to check the ratio of peanut butter to sesame oil to sugar in BGSK Peanut Noodles.
A lot of other people like the noodles too. Maybe they’re aware of them because I mention them in practically every post. When we asked bloggers to review the book around pub date, a lot of them naturally chose that recipe. I think I knew they would.
About my other favorite recipe, chocolate-flecked clafoutis, there have been crickets. Not a word! I have no idea if anyone but me has ever made it. Seriously. This wouldn’t be a problem if the recipe was a dud. But it’s so good! Almost as delicate as a pot de creme but with a rustic golden crust and the most straightforward directions. The clafoutis in my mind, should be a crowd pleaser.
I remember when I developed it, I was looking for a cinch of a recipe. I was bent on crafting a sweet dish formal enough to serve after a dinner party but so easy it wouldn’t occupy much real estate in your brain as you plotted out crostini and wine and table settings and chicken preparations and salad.
I learned to make clafoutis at a week-long French basics class I took one summer in college and have loved the idea of the recipe ever since – a throw-together dish that as presentable and homey as a pancake beneath its pretty crackled top. You will love it too, now that I’ve told you that you have to make it. Right?
Traditional clafoutis batter wraps unpitted cherries in the batter. You have to be careful as you eat it, spitting out the pits with every bite. Since cherries are seasonal, I replaced them with chocolate in this recipe, to make clafoutis doable all year round. If you get into it, you could switch back into seasonal mode–strawberries, then blueberries, then cherries (maybe pit them), then peaches. Leave the chocolate in if you like, or omit it.
Recently, someone wiser than me asked why I didn’t highlight this red-headed stepchild of In the Small Kitchen right here on the blog, if I liked it so much. So, here you go. Chocolate chip clafoutis, this is your moment.
Chocolate Chip Clafoutis
3 large eggs
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for topping
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
One 3.5-ounce semisweet chocolate bar, finely chopped, or 1⁄2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Lightly whipped cream, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, both sugars, and the salt until blended. Whisk in the flour until it’s combined. Add the cream and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Finally, stir in most of the chocolate pieces, reserving 1 to 2 tablespoons for garnish.
Place the butter in an 8- or 9-inch cast-iron skillet or a cake pan. Put the pan in the oven for 1 minute. Take it out—the butter should be melted—and brush the melted butter all around the bottom and sides. Be careful! The pan will already be hot to the touch.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar over the top.
Bake until the clafoutis is set in the center and golden around the edges, about 35 minutes. It will have puffed up, but it will deflate as it cools. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Top the clafoutis with whipped cream, if desired, and scatter the reserved chocolate on top. Serve the clafoutis warm or at room temperature.