November 15, 2010

Kids Cook Monday: Cocoa Cherry Clafoutis

This was the Miss Hannah Jane's first ever stab at something a little french in the kitchen!  I'll admit that the only time I had ever heard of clafoutis was on the Public Radio show the Splendid Table, when a male caller called in with a problem with his clafoutis getting lumpy.  I couldn't help it.  I laughed out loud!  It reminded me of when my high school friend, Julia, and I used to ask random tough guys to just say words like croissant or cupcake and then break out into wild laughter!  So, shame on me and my clafouti laughter, and bravo Lynne Rossetto Kasper for maintaining her composure! If you are worried about your lumpy clafouties, check this out and scroll down to "calls."
Looks like they're wrestling, but she's getting cherries from the bag and he's throwing flour in the pan!  

Anyway, I ran across a Clafouti recipe with pictures of a making it over at Foodie Tots and thought, It's Monday, so why in the world not?  Well, let me tell you why not!  We were out of eggs, to start.  The chickens were laying like crazy and the kids were begging to not have to eat anymore eggs.  Then the cold hit just as we were out of the habit of having to buy regular old corporate eggs at the store and just as we decided to try clafouti making!  Go figure.  We were also out of vanilla (let me rephrase, I left the vanilla in the trunk of the van which sits parked infront of Joe's office at the moment). And no milk!  Seriously, I must have been in my own world when we did our shopping this weekend because I'm working with crumbs over here!

Needless to say, we got a little creative, so we're not going to judge all clafoutis by today's results, although I have to say that there were no clafouti complaints!

 Here's the recipe we made up
  • 2 cups of fresh sweet cherries, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons of slivered almonds
  • 3 eggs (we only had one, so we used a double portion of a replacement we found here.)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour ( we don't sift no matter what the books say!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of evaporated milk
  • 2 tbsp of dutch processed cocoa
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
The egg part was obviously a bit of a compromise.  The recipe we found for cherry clafoutis called for whole milk, and being a bit of a kitchen moron, I thought why in the world not use evaporated milk since that's what I have on hand?   And because we didn't have vanilla or amaretto (I don't even know what that is, but we were supposed to have some) we went with cocoa and thought that a chocolaty clafouti would be better than a bland one!  So those are our tweaks.  The original recipe we were working from is here if you want to be less original ;)

Hannah Jane was generous enough to let the boys muck around in her great french cooking experiment by allowing them the joy of lining the pan with cherries.  I had no idea how well this would work!  They slowly placed cherries one at a time into the pan while she did all of the whisking, adding, tasting, etc.  They felt like they had had a full cooking experience, and she didn't have any sticky fingers jutting into her cocoa powder!

To make the thing, you basically just place a layer of cherries on the bottom of your baking pan, toss some almond slivers on top of them, and in a separate bowl whisk all of the other ingredients together and pour over the cherries and almonds.  You'll bake all of that at 350 for 50 minutes and enjoy.  We drizzled a little chocolate sauce over ours to really make the most of that cocoa twist and plopped a few uncooked cherries on top.  Loved it!!!

As much as we were tweaking as we went, it is so delicious that we won't change anything other than perhaps using actual eggs next time we make it!  It's like a gooey pile of half baked brownies with black cherries rolling out of the chocolate all over your plate!  So good!

So class, today's lesson is that you don't have to let a lack of ingredients stop you from getting all french up in the kitchen.  That, dear friends, is what our imaginations and google are for!  Right?  Imagine a flavor you have that might rival vanilla, google what you might have that would replace an egg or 2, and get your french on!  There's nothing to it!  I mean, it's so easy that a 7 year old and her preschool apprentices could do it!

Be sure to check out Kids Cook Monday to see what other kids are up to in the kitchen!

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