SRC: Chocolate Pan Dulce and Cherry Clafoutis

Post image for SRC: Chocolate Pan Dulce and Cherry Clafoutis

by Holly on July 9, 2012

This month’s Secret Recipe Club brought me to Evelyn’s blog – Cheap Ethnic Eatz. I was really excited because it was fun for me to be assigned such a diverse and wonderful blog – and written by a lovely lady who resides in my Mama’s hometown of Montreal, Quebec. I was able to visit Montreal, sadly only for a day, several years ago and see a bit of the city. I absolutely LOVED it! Loved everything about it and look forward to going back someday… probably when I’ve learned more French though. We were lucky enough to have my uncle take us on a tour of the downtown area, including the gorgeous Notre Dame Cathedral and some of the older buildings and fountains. He now lives in Ontario, but came down for the day to take us around and be our guide/interpreter.

Anyway, as I went through Evelyn’s archives for ideas on what to make, I came across a couple of recipes that intrigued me – because they were familiar… yet different. I just had to try them, but you know me, I never can leave well enough alone!

The first was for a version of Mexican Sweet Bread or Pan Dulce (conchas) that was different than my usual recipe that I use. I wanted to know what the differences would end up being like when they were made. I’m a big fan of my usual recipe, which originates from a gal who got it from a friend that owns a panaderia. The main differences I noticed in the new recipe and my old standby was that the dough uses less liquid and uses shortening instead of butter and evaporated milk. My usual recipe is more of a sweet, yeast bread, where this one looked like an overall leaner dough which ended up being slightly more cakey and tender.

Obviously from the pictures you can tell that I went off the rails with playing with the recipe anyway. I decided to turn the dough into a dough that hinted at chocolate and wasn’t quite as sweet as usual. I recently went to a blogger event where we got to attend an AMAZING class on Chocolate at a local market here in Salt Lake City – Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli – where I had my eyes opened to a lot of information and knowledge about the wonderful world of chocolate – including finding a new (to me) cocoa powder that smells absolutely dreamy – and the name is super fun to say too (which never hurts!) – Pralus (pronounced Pra-loos). I had to buy some and couldn’t wait to use it, so this Chocolate Pan Dulce was it’s first foray out of the pantry.

In fact, you need to go to Caputo’s new blog and check out the insane amounts of food knowledge they are sharing – this chocolate infographic they put together is incredible and just the tip of the iceberg! They are so dedicated to all things chocolate (real chocolate!) that they even have an online store that makes it easy to find and buy the good stuff.

Fine Chocolate Experience Infographic
Source: Caputo’s Deli

Obviously, I love what the Caputo family is doing and have no problem shouting it to my little bloggy world. In fact, back in my old days when I worked in downtown Salt Lake, Caputo’s was my favorite place to go eat lunch (and still is, just not as often since I’m not a couple blocks away every day). Funny enough, I even have a distinct memory of going in for one of their amazing sandwiches just a couple days before I had Aidan, which would put it right about now again almost nine years ago since Aidan’s birthday is Friday! (Trust me. I’ve been many other times since then, but I remember that time specifically because I had just gone over my due date and was impatiently waiting to go into labor!).

Anyway, I digress.

The other difference in the two recipes I noticed was that the new recipe uses confectioners’ sugar for the sugar crust that goes on top of the sweet bread instead of granulated sugar like I’m used to. It made a much more tender and crumbly, soft layer instead of the usual slightly crunchy crust I’m used to. I can’t say that I prefer one over the other now since both were great – I think it would just depend on personal preference. That said, I did find the confectioners’ sugar dough a little tougher to work with since it was softer… which actually helped keep it in place better, so overall, that was nice too.

Mexican Sweet Bread

Either recipe you try, these buns aren’t nearly as hard to make as they look and with such fun and fancy results are a real eye-catching addition to anyone’s brunch or to give as gifts.

Or seriously, just hang on to them and have them for breakfast yourself for the next few days. Your day will start off much nicer.

I won’t tell. Promise.

The other recipe I decided to try was for a Cherry Clafoutis. I’ve made this type of dessert in the past (including a chocolate/raspberry combination), but this one looked different – thinner and more tart/custardy than I was used to. I also realized that I had cherries on hand for once, just waiting to be used and that I’ve never actually made the original cherry version of this dessert.

As always, the batter and dessert are ridiculously simple and straightforward to make, with fun and stunning results. I adapted the recipe slightly to fit in my 10-inch pan and to use the method I’m more familiar with for assembly and serving, which is just a bit more on the rustic side. While cherries are in season, this is definitely the dessert to make (and to be honest, we usually serve it at brunch as well!).

My thanks to Evelyn for having so many wonderful choices and fun ideas to choose from! I hope you’ll follow the links below and check out some more of this week’s SRC reveal or even go and check out the Secret Recipe Club site.


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Isabelle @ Crumb July 9, 2012 at 10:40 am

Wow, talk about going above and beyond… both of your picks are just spectacular! I can totally see why it was so hard to choose just one recipe. 🙂 I’ve been meaning to try making Pan Dulce at home for a while now, and this is just the kick in the pants I need to actually get around to it. Love the contrast of the chocolate bread with the bright pink topping.

Holly July 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Thanks Isabelle! I really hope you do make the pan dulce. I’ve made the ‘regular’ version several times and you could use the powdered sugar topping or the regular sugar topping for a crunchier version – either way, this sweet bread is amazing! The chocolate bread was wonderful too and I’m glad I experimented to create it, but I think that the regular sweet bread is probably still my favorite because it’s a bit sweeter. Good luck!

carrian July 9, 2012 at 10:46 am

Yeah, you’re amazing. Stop that already so the rest of us have a chance to be cool 😉
Just kidding! These look wonderful, as always.

Holly July 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Ha! As if you aren’t already the coolest 😉 Thanks Carrian! They are fun to make!

RecipeNewZ July 9, 2012 at 11:13 am

Wonderful choices! I can imagine not being able to choose only one among these recipes :-). I made clafoutis many times, but never the chocolate pan dulce. Those cookies look really delish, something I need to remember to try!

Holly July 10, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I have never seen a chocolate pan dulce (with the chocolate bread) and even googled it. The Mexican sweet bread is usually a lightly cinnamon scented sweet bread with no cocoa in the dough. I just couldn’t resist experimenting, so thanks!

melissa@IWasBornToCook July 9, 2012 at 11:25 am

These both look amazing!

Holly July 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Thank you Melissa! They were fun to make!

Erin @ Making Memories July 9, 2012 at 11:45 am

Fantastic looking! I can’t wait to make these. Thanks!

Holly July 10, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Hi Erin! I really hope you do give these a try, especially making a clafoutis – even if it isn’t this recipe since there are many versions out there or you could substitute most any other fruit you like for the cherries. It really is wonderfully easy to make. Thanks for the kind words!

Lisa~~ July 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm

You rocked it this month with two recipes and both gorgeous and delicious looking. Way to do a SRC post.

I was lucky enough to cook from your blog this month and I’d love for you to check out what I made: Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

Cook Lisa Cook

Holly July 10, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Hi Lisa!! Thank you again for your kind words! I love that Double Chocolate Mousse Cake too and I think your healthier version looks amazing!

Shelby July 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I’m impressed! I have never even heard of this bread…I really need to broaden my horizons much more! I have made clafouti once, but it was over 20 years ago! It all looks delicious!

Holly July 10, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Hi Shelby! You know, until a couple years ago I hadn’t heard of the pan dulce either (probably because I’ve never been to Mexico or to any of the local Panaderia’s here in Utah!) It really isn’t too difficult to make and it is seriously SO fun because of the crazy cool results with that sugar crust. You can cut all kinds of patterns, use any color you want, do different flavors – sky’s the limit!

NO REASON NEEDED July 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Mmmmmmm, loving the recipes…. particularly yhe second one. Great choice!!!!

Holly July 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Thank you! They really were fun to make!

Spencer July 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Looks sensational! I would so love to try some.

Holly July 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Thank you Spencer!

Veronica July 10, 2012 at 12:20 am

If I were in a crowd reading this blog, I’d start a standing ovation right now and do one of those really loud whistles you have to put your fingers on your lips to do…if I was capable of it. 🙂 This is amazing! I love that you did not one, but two recipes, and the pan is pretty involved and turned out so perfectly pretty! GREAT JOB!

Holly July 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Best. Comment. Ever. Thank you!!! You made my day!

Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz July 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Its a pleasure to have had you matched with me. No way your mom is from Montreal! If you do come back drop me a line.

Wow two recipes! I love what you picked and like the twist of being familiar with each recipe yet having distinctive differences, like the Pan Dulche’s sugar crust. The cherry clafouti is so perfectly seasonal. I want to eat both again.

Holly July 10, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Thank you Evelyne! My Mom was born in Toronto and grew up in Montreal, but she has been in the States for many, many years now. I seriously loved the city and really wished we had had more time when we were there. I will definitely get in touch if our chaos here ever allows me a vacation again 😉 Seriously though, if we make it over there, I’d love to get in touch!

I still have so many of your other recipes bookmarked and can’t wait to try them. I loved going through your blog! It’s wonderfully creative! Thanks for your kind words!


Krista July 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm

You are so awesome and I wish I could have helped you inhale each of those! They both turned out fabulous! LOVE YOU!

Avanika {Yumsilicious Bakes} August 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm

That was a cool infographic. I’ve been trying to develop my chocolate tasting skills. And your clafoutis looks amazing, it’s one of my favorite things!

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