We played endlessly in her company, often changing our games to bring around till boredom. In between these games, her mom, Mrs. B, stylish and chic, would elegantly bring in supplies of food and drink from her indulgent kitchen. It was a wonderfully evocative scene that blended food with imagination and made playing indoor games fun and inspiring, something that I foresee for my daughter too in future.
The moment we stepped in, her home wafted strong aromas sarson ka tel (mustard oil) which was traditional to their cuisine. Even today when I cook in Kachchi Ghani I am taken back to those luxurious evenings we spent at her place playing games in her bedroom, while blends of mystic aromas wafted through their kitchen enveloping the entire house with its essence till they pecked our nostrils and let our taste buds salivating. The Bengalis that they were, she often dished out hot pakoras, Beguni, Jhal Muri and more cooked in mustard oil, much to kids delight. She was an admirable cook exposed well to world cuisine and made various other non traditional dishes, many which inspired my mom too.
And like every Bengali, they too had huge fetish for fish and Mishţi (sweets). She doled out sweets and snacks effortlessly. Potlucks and birthday parties vouched these for proofs. Her puddings held a testimony to that. Not surprising we had never heard of clafoutis before, but strangely when I made this (inspired by Nigella's book, How to be a Domestic Goddess gifted by my hubby on Mother's Day!) and took a bite into this, it reminded me of puds Mrs. B used to dish out. Quite similar, just that they had no fancy names, but plain pudding. Dense, fudgy, not so cakelike, just a simple pudding. A cake sans the rising power from baking powder or soda. Call it a Clafoutis or whatever you like, this deep, dark chocolaty, intensely pudding kinds, is just right for the merry season of Christmas.
Double Chocolate Clafoutis
Inspired by Nigella's book, How to be a Domestic Goddess
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
4 tbsp. granulated white sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Handful of dark chocolate chunks
Whisk together the cream, eggs and vanilla extract. Sift all of the dry ingredients together and and add this the wet ingredients. Whisk well to make a smooth batter. Pour the batter into ramekins or ceramic dishes and throw couple of chocolate chunks into the batter. Bake at 180 deg C for 20 minutes or until the clafoutis is golden brown around the edges. Serve hot with a dusting of powdered sugar.