And... I have been meaning to make it for seven years.
Clafoutis first hit my radar in 2008, courtesy of a blog event called "Hay Hay It's Donna Day," which was a monthly blogging event featuring a Donna Hay recipe. The April 2008 challenge (which I read about on many blogs but did not make) was hosted by the amazing Bron Marshall, who chose Donna's plum and chocolate clafoutis as the recipe of the month.
(incidentally, it is pronounced, roughly, klafuti - I have been saying it phonetically in my head for seven years so thought I should clarify)
At the time I was an impoverished university student, with a poorly-formatted blog promoting my side-business selling cakes. Clafoutis seemed simultaneously a bit posh and somehow not ambitious enough - these were days of spending 12 hours decorating wedding cakes, proving pastry dough from scratch, and constructing layer cakes which required seven different components. So I read about it and moved on.
Then on Saturday we needed a dessert for dinner with friends, I was flicking through Donna Hay's amazing Seasons book, and out popped that same clafoutis recipe.
It's a pretty simple recipe, though very decadent; traditionally it is made with cherries (and no chocolate), which I'm keen to try, but the chocolate version (naturally) resonated with me so that's what we went with.
The recipe calls for both cocoa and dark chocolate, so I don't recommend going too dark on the chocolate; we used Whittakers' 50% and it was pretty deep and rich in chocolateyness. Any darker I think would have been a bit much.
Since it's not exactly plum season around here we opted for tinned black doris plums, which did a pretty awesome job.
My only quibble with the original recipe is that instead of giving the number of servings, it says to divide between two 500ml pans to cook, and then at the end says "makes two." Well yes, but how many people should each pan serve? From the ingredients I rather hoped it would be at least two servings to a pan, but it's an unusual way to make a recipe and I didn't want to risk being short of dessert (heaven forbid!). So I made double, cooked it in one very large pan - and as we're still eating the leftovers, I can comfortably assure you that it will serve at least four, and potentially six.
The final result is halfway between a baked custard and a cake - fudgey, decadent, not too heavy but still substantial. The chocolate mostly sinks to the bottom and provides an extra touch of magic. So very good!
Plum and chocolate clafoutis (adapted from Donna Hay's Seasons - serves 4)
1/3 cup / 50g flour
1/4 cup / 30g cocoa powder
1/3 cup / 75 caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cream
175g dark chocolate (50% is good), chopped
6 fresh or half a tin of plums, halved
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Sift flour and cocoa into a bowl and add sugar.
In a separate bowl, stir to combine vanilla, eggs and cream.
Mix wet and dry ingredients together, and stir in chocolate.
Divide the butter between two 500ml ovenproof pans and melt. Pour the mixture into the pans, top with plums and bake for 20-25 minutes until puffed and set.
Alternatively use 4 x 250ml ramekins and cook for 15-20 minutes, or 1 x 1 litre pan and cook for 25-30 minutes.