Dear Chef Bourdain;
Recently, friend and excellent author George R.R. Martin was in town in Los Angeles for a variety of things pertaining to the new HBO show based on his books, “A Game of Thrones“. Since it’s been years since we last saw him, other fans and friends had a party so we could all catch up. I made some mushroom soup, which I’ve written about before. This time around I didn’t have any sherry though, and it really made a difference. This was somewhat compensated for, though, because I had fresh home-made stock from my second round of stock-making. What a world of difference really good stock makes!
Anyway, I also made some clafoutis for the party. I know the picture above looks pretty appetizing, but don’t let appearances deceive you, they were pretty nasty. I don’t know whether to blame you or me, Chef, I don’t have a good standard of comparison. So it was probably me, executing something incorrectly – but basically we ended up with a big, eggy, collapsed mess. With cherries.
I started out with cherries. I know, they’re out of season, and I’m a rotten eco-villain for buying the ones that were flown in from Chile. I’ll plant a fucking tree. Anyway, the cherries were plenty delicious so they were obviously in season wherever they came from. I borrowed a cherry-pitter from my Mother-In-Law to-be, who has an incredible kitchen – it made short work of pitting the cherries. I read elsewhere that traditionally you leave the pits in, which gives a particular flavor to the end result. But since I was passing these out at a party, I didn’t imagine I could give the “Oh, hey, watch out for the pits” warning to random party-goers so I figured I’d play it safe. Also, pastries with pits is just kinda nasty. It also might explain why Napoleon lost to Wellington. So I mixed it with the kirschwasser (that’s the same as kirsch, right?) and let it macerate for an hour.
So that was exciting. Macerating. And stuff.
Next came egg-beating. It was only after using the old-fashioned egg-beater that the hostess told me she had a motorized one. Also, with these old-timey ones, for some reason I have to resist the impulse to chase MLF around with it, grinning lasciviously and twirling the blades.
So after that it was just pouring it into a chilled baking pan. I also used tiny cupcake tins, because I had a stupid amount of batter and not enough things to pour it in. (That sentence was especially true in my 20′s.)
I baked it. It puffed up. It didn’t stay very puffy. I think this means that I can’t make a souffle either.
Chef, the previous picture was not a metaphor.
I’ve noticed most of the desserts in your book aren’t very sweet, chef. These weren’t either. I dusted them with powdered sugar – indeed, I even had a sifter! But the results was something like an eggy, liquory, cherry-flavored mess. They didn’t come out of the tins very easily (sorry Sonja!) and had a sort of soggy consistency not unlike the bits of egg left in the pan when you’re trying to clean up after brunch. Not that I’ve ever been so hung over that I’d eat that. (I totally have.)
I have to call this one a miss, Chef. Maybe someone better than me could make a delicate, delicious treat out of this. But not me, man. Just a big plate of mess. Kinda embarrassing actually, Chef, since I’d told some of these folks about my whole project. On the other hand, maybe I should have tried something a little more sure-fire. Actually, the mushroom soup was pretty well received, so I’ve got that going on.
I don’t know if these ever got eaten or not. I feel bad about the cleanup, though. I don’t think I’ll try and make these again. Sorry Chef, you kinda suck at desserts. Well, I do, anyway, when I follow your instructions.
Do love pouring that batter though!