A New Take on Clafouti
The classic Clafouti involves cherries but this one evolved during a “baketition” at Nestlé headquarters when I was visiting to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the semisweet chocolate morsel. A bunch of bloggers and chefs had come together, were divided into teams and challenged to come up with a dish in 45 minutes using Nestlé’s new DelightFulls, which are morsels with flavored fillings. There is semisweet chocolate filled with either mint or cherry and milk chocolate filled with either peanut butter or caramel. My team chose the milk chocolate caramel and got to work. We were working with Chicago pastry chef Amanda Rockman of Nico Osteria.
It was her idea to make the clafouti, I added the honey-vanilla bean whipped cream and our team got this into the oven in less than 10 minutes, I kid you not. Easy and impressive, especially if you use a purchased dulce de leche. Amanda used her own clafouti batter that day. I have tried to recreate our dish here for you. Chef Lucien Vendôme, the Director of Culinary Strategy & Innovations at Nestlé, said his grandmother – a traditional Frenchwoman – would have rolled over in her grave if she saw what we did to the classic dish. No matter, when you bite into the soft, eggy clafouti dotted with creamy Nestlé DelightFulls Milk Chocolate Morsels with Caramel Filling and topped with honey vanilla whipped cream, dulce de leche and chopped almonds, you will be thankful for our team’s creativity! This must be served warm, so plan your timing.
- 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Nestlé DelightFulls Milk Chocolate Morsels with Caramel Filling, divided into ¾ cup and ¼ cup
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ vanilla bean, seeds scraped into cream
- ½ cup dulce de leche
- ½ cup chopped almonds, preferably Marcona, but toasted whole natural or blanched will suffice
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Butter and sugar 8, ½-cup shallow gratin dishes, then place on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Place milk, flour, melted butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt in blender and buzz on high until very well blended.
- Divide batter in prepared cups. Sprinkle about ¾ cup of the morsels in the cups, dividing evenly. You will see some on the surface and some will sink; that’s fine.
- Place in oven to bake for about 15 to 20 minutes; meanwhile make whipped cream. Whip the heavy cream, honey and vanilla bean until soft peaks form; set aside in refrigerator until needed.
- Clafouti are done when puffed, very lightly golden and the set. A toothpick will test clean.
- Top each Clafouti with a bit of dulce de leche and whipped cream, sprinkle with nuts and remaining morsels. Serve immediately.
Images: Peter Muka
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