Monday, March 16, 2009

Chocolate Raspberry Clafoutis

Crabby Cook: Trying Recipes so you don't have to.

I'll admit, as a slogan it's not much.

In the last year SSSal and I have prepped over 100 different recipes. That involves finding recipes, reading recipes, trying to decide if the recipe makes sense and after all that, preparing, presenting and photographing the dish.

It's not always pretty. What you see here are the ones that made it. There are more than a few who never see the light of day. Yes, you can do it, you can cook, but you have to be ready for the occasional stumble.

I tend to avoid complicated recipes. Not because they're hard, but because every additional step is another opportunity for something to go wrong. I try and avoid recipes with lots of ingredients added in small amounts; I mean really, can 1/8 of a teaspoon of anything really make that much difference?

With that in mind, I present a new feature, "Fix the Crab". From time to time I'm going to post recipes that just didn't work and I'm going to challenge you, my little crablings, to try the recipe and tell me where we screwed up. Today's it's a dessert.

Outside of the name, everything about this dessert said it should be great. A short, but highly complimentary list of ingredients combined with minimal actual baking work. How could it possibly go wrong? Not only that, the result photographed beautifully, (you'd be surprised how many meals are surprisingly un-photogenic). So let's get started, please try and show me how to enjoy...

Chocolate Raspberry Clafoutis
Gourmet magazine, March 2009

12 ounces fresh raspberries (2 3/4 cups)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, (or use chips)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.

Toss the berries with granulated sugar and let stand for 15 minutes.

Blend the milk, butter, eggs, brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder and salt in a blender until smooth.

Evenly scatter the berries with their juices into the baking dish. Pour the batter on top.

Bake until slightly puffed and firm to the touch, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the chopped chocolate (or chips).

Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

OK. Is that hard. No, in fact it seems virtually impossible to mess this recipe up. But the result was a mealy, mushy, spongy cake that felt woefully underdone. If it had been left in the oven any longer though, the edges would have turned to a (very) crunchy cookie texture.

It's at times like this you want to blame the oven.

"Maybe the temperature is off. You think we should try it on convection bake?"

The oven is working fine for every other meal. Nope, it's not the technology. It's either the input or the operator. So here's your challenge crablings. Make this recipe and tell me if it turns out great for you. I've taught you well, so I know you can do it, you can cook.


Anonymous said...

I think it actually turned out right for you---clafoutis is highly variable ranging from cakelike to custard-like.

Wolf said...

Clafoutis are typically very custard like, with the edges slightly crunchy.

So yes, it came out right for you.}:)

WineWizardBob said...

You forgot the part that says:

Cover with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Works for me.

Because I love sympathy, I have to go to a fancy Cape Cod resort and taste 200 wines on Thursday. Hard work but someone has to do it.

Trade show for the summer seasonal places on the Cape so they pick the wines for their wine lists before they open. Summer is coming!

Anonymous said... made it perfect!!! too bad you didn't enjoy it!!!
i made the mistake of reading the reviews on the gourmet magazine web site, unfortunately i followed the advice to add more flour, because it was tooo runny.....turned out like crap!!!! said...

Well, after all your feedback, I now realize we didn't mess up, it's just a lousy dessert.

Thanks for the help crablings; later today I'm posting another recipe that didn't quite work out. Maybe it's just another case of incorrect expectations.

test it comm said...

Chocolate and raspberry clafoutis sounds so good!