Thursday, April 17, 2008

HHDD #19: Clafoutis


As much as I love being on my island (ok, fine, smoky-sweltering-city-within-an-island), I can’t help fall in love with every other place I visit. It’s just me. I am the wide-eyed traveler. I can never seem to affect a pose of sophisticated ennui. Unlike that Cole Porter song, I get a kick out of everything. On one hand, I come off as a silly panting puppy. On the other…well…can you imagine what kind of wonderful sensory overload it is to get a kick out of everything? You should try it.

Because of my naïve, yet happy, wanderings, I have come to the following conclusions:

  • I will be well fed anywhere in the world I go.
  • I love the Swiss and the Swiss love me.
  • I can read Greek.
  • The gods still walk around Athens.
  • I don’t mind when Italians lie to me. I like it.
  • There was something greater than us humans at work in ancient Egypt.
  • I will someday live in a log house in the Finnish woods (yes, with Moomin).
  • Scandinavians are my long lost relatives.
  • Even if we don’t speak the same language, if you are Asian (as I am) we will understand each other.
  • If Asia=Exotic, and Asia=Me, then Me=Exotic
  • Somewhere deep inside me lurks a cute French girl struggling to come out.

  • I’ll stop here before it becomes apparent that I am indeed totally off base. Oh, you already know? Don’t tell anyone.

    Anyway…the cute French girl in me. She needs to be fed. Thank goodness Bron chose clafoutis as the theme for this round of Hay Hay it’s Donna Day!

    Clafoutis, though very familiar and comforting to the real French, is very new and exciting to me and my imaginary French self. It is a dessert made traditionally with cherries (pitted or unpitted – the debate rages on!) onto which a custard-y batter is poured, and then the whole lot baked. Although Donna’s recipe sounded tempting, I decided to use a French girl’s recipe. And since that adorable French girl already gave me a great way to use my matcha, I thought I would be pretty safe taking her clafoutis too! Thank you Bea :)

    But…but…despite all this fantasy identities, I am still an island girl at heart. 100% Filipino. So my clafoutis has mangoes and chicos. Mangoes from the Philippines are in my (and a gugillion other) opinion the best in the world. Chicos are another local fruit that have always been a favorite of mine. Less popular than the mango, it has its lovers and its haters…and I am firmly in the lovers camp. It is sweet, sandy/grainy, juicy, and somewhat, I can’t find a better word than…booze-y. Both fruits are in season now so the timing was perfect for a tropical clafoutis (omg! Is that what I am?). You can find Bea’s recipe I used here. Just substitute the cherries for half mango and half chico. Also, I didn’t add the crushed biscuits and pistachios.

    The mango clafoutis was good…but not as good as I expected, considering I worship this fruit. I suppose for me, the best way to eat a mango is plain, with nothing to detract from its inherent perfection. The chico clafoutis however was a revelation. I honestly didn’t know how it would turn out, as the chico is seldom used in baked goods (yes, the occasional chico panna cotta in some fusion-y restaurant sometimes). It was a nice surprise biting into it…the chico had firmed up somewhat in the oven and it’s sweet, grainy self was a great match for the smooth custard.

    I am leaving tonight for Hanoi (yaaaay!!!!) so I’ll stop here. I still have a mountain of work to finish, plus packing, plus making sure the flat is at rights before we go. I’ll see you all when I get back, hopefully with lots of photos and highlights to share, and for certain with a few more pounds on me.

    Until then I remain, this amalgamation of all that I have seen and experienced, within this country and without, half local-half whimsy…your tropical clafoutis :)


    Barbara said...

    They look lovely Joey. Yes my oven is a fan oven. Thanks for joining in at HHDD and have fun in Hanoi.

    Peabody said...

    Those turned out great. Clafoutis are so comforting.

    Bron said...

    I love them tropical girl!
    They look wonderful, mmm mangoes! thanks so much for sharing!

    Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

    Your Clafoutis look great!

    Have a safe trip and have fun in Hanoi!



    Katrina said...

    Yay, finally a chico dessert!!! It sounds amazing, Joey! I'm surprised the mango clafoutis wasn't all reminds me of a Crepe Samurai, which is delicious.

    Your list of conclusions is so cute -- so you! Yeah, we already know you're a bit off-kilter, but that's what we like about you. :-) I also love how you think of yourself as exotic, since most Filipinos who know how you look would never use the word to describe you. It's sad how "exotic" has come to be almost derogatory around here. But we know better, right?! ;-)

    Manggy said...

    Just when I thought we could be soulmates in our wide-eyedness, you turn on me and make a chico dessert! (Ah, you know which camp I am in.) But I will gleefully take a serving of mango clafoutis, thank you very much! :) They look so cute, like the French girl inside you :)

    Have a happy trip! Though I doubt it could ever be otherwise :)

    Marketman said...

    Smart Girl...chico clafoutis! Brilliant. Will have to try that one day. The fruit firms up I think because it is highly resinous, and in the one recipe I found for pie, the resin is skimmed off the top of the filling... but this is really really cool...

    ChichaJo said...

    Hi Barbara! Thank you :) I do wish it was a bit more "tan" on top...I think my oven is lazy :)

    Hi Peabody! It certainly is a comforting dish :)

    Hi Bron! Thanks for giving me a venue to clafoutis my local fruits :)

    Hi Rosa! Thanks! :)

    Hi Katrina! I think we should definitely be using this fruit more often :) As for the mango...I also was thinking of crepe samurai! Heehee :) But it's more solid...but now I have to find a crepe samurai recipe because I miss it! Exotic was always a positive in my book! :) Wait a minute, so you mean to tell me, I don't seem exciting and mysterious to people???

    Hello Manggy! Thanks! Don't worry, we can still be friends even if you don't like chico :) I am so excited to eat in Hanoi!

    Hey MM! Thanks! I even like it cold! :) And it's quite simple to make...I just scooped chunks out of the chico with a teaspoon :) No fancy prepping :)

    Midge said...

    FINALLY! Someone's actually found a way to use chicos in a dessert; kudos to you, Joey! I think papayas and pineapple would also be great in clafoutis.

    Veron said...

    No question about it Joey, the mangoes in the Philippines are indeed the best in the world. Yummy looking clafoutis!

    MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

    Your mango clafoutis is the perfect send off to Hanoi! That should bring back so incredible stories!

    Ellie @ Kitchen Wench said...

    Gorgeous clafoutis, I love the different varieties! I've often thought about trying Bea's recipe but just haven't gotten around to it, but I guess I've no excuse not to try now :)

    Patricia Scarpin said...

    Joey, they look wonderful, sweetie! And I hope you enjoy your trip a lot!

    Susan from Food Blogga said...

    Safe and happy travels, Joey! Need anyone to keep an eye on those clafoutis while you're gone? ;)

    PheMom said...

    LOL- I felt the same thing about making clafouti for the first time. Great post!

    katrina said...

    If you're craving Crepe Samurai, I still think Intercon's Jeepney Bar has the best. (In fact, weren't they the originator? I just know they've been serving it since I was a kid.) Or if you're serving it to a big group, Roshan makes a yummy one, too.

    As for "exotic," well...we know how it is sadly and ironically used around here to describe a certain type of appearance. :-/

    mtan said...

    Chico clafoutis! Now that's a perfect example of the fusion foodie that is you.
    I saw in another blog an old post about a gateaux made in Barcelona. I should look for it since it think it's one step away from being the clafoutis cousin. It had the dough and the cherry and the custard.
    Have a merry old time in Hanoi Jo! Happy eating and shopping!

    Eileen said...

    I've been stuck on Gerard Mulot's cherry clafoutis (recipe in Dorie Greenspan's Paris Sweets). It's wonderful made with creme fraiche.

    Eileen (passions to pastry)@

    Brilynn said...

    I'm a big mango lover but find the best way to eat it is plain too. I keep hoping I will love it in a baked dish but I never do.

    Anonymous said...

    Try the mangoes in Vietnam. My Viet friend said theirs is better. It wasn't bad. :)

    the clafoutis sounds like crepe samurai

    Zharmagne said...

    Love reading your blog and dreaming about the food you make. Wish I can just do it one day and never stop.

    ChichaJo said...

    Hi Midge! I was so excited when I tried it! I was hoping against hope :)

    Hi Veron! I think so :) Thanks!

    Hi Tanna! Thanks! :) I already some stories (I'm still here)!

    Hi Ellie! Bea just makes everything look so irresistable :)

    Thanks Pat! I'm enjoying it a lot :)

    Hi Susan! Haha! Thannks for the I know who to call to gaurd my sweets ;)

    Hi Phemom! Thank you! Nice to know I'm not alone :)

    Hi Katrina! Yes, that's the best one...I've also had one in Shangri-la loooong time ago that was good. Hay naku! I hear you. I find it sad and mean. I think we are all beautiful. And charming ;)

    Hi Mila! Sometimes fusion works wonders! Such magic can happen when cultures make friends :) Let me know if you find that gateaux! Right now we are so busog! I've been doing more eating than shopping...hehehe :)

    Hi Eileen! Thanks for the tip! Will check that recipe out :)

    Hi Brilynn! I share the same hope...but I still think it's best plain :)

    Hi Anonymous! I tried the green mangoes with some chili...that was really good! I thought it would be like crepe samurai too...but it's not quite that :)

    Hi Zharmagne! Thanks so much for visiting and leaving such a nice comment :)

    nipsum said...

    How do you do.
    I hope to see blog.
    Please link to this site.

    christine said...

    I love this post! It reminds me why we get along so well and how many different ways I like you! :) Oh and... "the best way to eat a mango is plain, with nothing to detract from its inherent perfection" - I agree 100%! The clafoutis look great. Can't wait to make cuento when you get back! Oh btw, I had okonomiyaki last night (at Sugi), but I wouldn't mind having it again with you when you get back. :)

    Bordeaux said...

    What a fabulous post! Love the bit of personal narrative you always include with your recipes. And this one really made me chuckle. And had yummy sounding clafoutis too!

    rebekka said...

    Yummy clafoutis, one of my favorites. Your blog is gorgeous and your photos are stunning!

    Robin said...

    Haha, love this post! I've always wanted to live in a Finnish log cabin too!! Maybe we'll be neighbors someday!

    Private Chef said...

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    Kelly-Jane said...

    How lovley do they look? So pretty in your little dishes :)

    -annabanana- said...

    I will definitely try this recipe. our fruit basket is overflowing with mangoes already.

    ChichaJo said...

    Hi Nipsum…thanks for stopping by :)

    Hi Nens! Aw! Thanks! My thoughts as well when I read your blog! I regret passing up the mango load today…let me know how they are so I can get some the next time around :) We can do okonomiyaki at that place near me in little Tokyo!

    Hi Bordeaux! Thanks :) I guess cooking, and eating, are something that I consider personal too :)

    Hi Rebekka! I am just getting to know clafoutis :) Thank you for your sweet comment!

    Hi Robin! That would be great! We could share a lake :)

    Hi Niall! Thanks for stopping by…will check it out!

    Hi Kelly-jane! I was so happy the day I found these little dishes at the market :)

    Hello Annabanana! Mango season in full swing! Woohoo! :)

    Lael said...

    I love your "conclusions." My own free spirit can relate. I am now looking for an excuse to make clafoutis because, while I've grown up on the traditional french cherry version, mangoes sound delicious in it!

    ChichaJo said...

    Hi Lael! Thank you :) There should be more "free-spirits" around don't you think? ;) Cherries are kinda expensive here (the price of importation...sigh...) so mangoes are actually a very practical substitute for me :)