French Fridays with Dorie: Christmas Card Exchange - Chocolate Couer la Creme & Apple Cider Sidecar (+ a recipe)

The past several years, Alice (A Mama, A Baby and A Sharpei in the Kitchen) has organized a French Fridays with Dorie Christmas card exchange. It has been a fun way to interact with the group that I have been cooking and baking along with for over four years now - in the world of virtual, I would consider that to be a long term relationship. Checking the post office box for new card deliveries has become an anticipated tradition at Chez Cher - the household is always interested in seeing where each day's batch of cards hailed from.

This year Alice, Christy (Confessions of a Culinary Diva) and Candy (Dulce's Home) also coordinated a Dorista recipe exchange. This week, the Dorista crew had the option of either posting a missed recipe from Around My French Table or sharing one of the many recipes that came to us in the mail via the exchange. Since I am 100% on French Friday, posting the Dorista inspired recipe was a no-brainer. Since I am never one to keep things simple (and because I had such a hard time deciding), I opted for two recipes. 

First up, Guyla (Clementines and Cocktails) shared with the Dorista crew a recipe for an Apple Cider Sidecar (recipe posted at the end of the post). Since I live in the heart of New York apple country, there was no way I could turn down this libation. This apple cider, brandy and triple-sec concoction strikes a perfect balance between refreshing and warming. We've made three pitchers of these already (just to give you an idea of how good this one is...) 

For my second choice, I went with Mardi's (Eat, Live, Travel, Write) chocolate coeur à la crème.

My initial attempts with coeur à la crème were not very successful. It drove me absolutely nuts that I could not get a simple dessert of cream cheese, confectioner's sugar and whipped cream to work. So, I did what any "sane" (by "sane", I mean certifiably insane) person would do...I went out and bought a specialty mould and started making the dessert over and over and over until I got it right. It has since become a favorite in our house and when I saw Mardi's chocolate version, I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity to give this one a shot.

The thing I love about coeur à la crème is that it is like a making cheesecake - without all the work. I knew this chocolate version would be perfect with Christmas dinner. I paired it with a raspberry sauce; but frankly, it didn't need it. This one was a HUGE hit and a breeze to put together.

The recipe for Mardi's chocolate coeur à la crème can be found here, where Mardi posted it for the Canadian Tire Kitchen Crew Mission. Mardi also reinvented this dish into a profiterole creation - which can be found here.

Apple Cider Sidecar
Courtesy of Guyla Mayo (Clementines and Cocktails), adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Serves 4

10 ounces apple cider
4 ounces Brandy
5 ounces Cointreau (or Harlequin)
2 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice

Stir together all ingredients and shake over ice. Pour into cocktail glasses that have been rimmed with raw sugar. Enjoy!

I hope that everyone (if you celebrate) had a wonderful holiday. Sending best wishes for a safe and prosperous New Year's. Looking forward to cooking and baking along with everyone in the year ahead.

Peace out.



  1. Liz would be proud of your coeur a la creme garnishes! Did she lend you some of her raspberry stash? I made Guyla's cocktail too. It is excellent. I will definitely make it again. I hope you had a great holiday. Looking forward to continuing to cook with you in 2015!

  2. Both recipes look fabulous. But the cocktail seems easier, so I think I'll be making a trip to the liquor store tomorrow. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  3. ahhh these are high on my list to make!! :) Im loving your description of the Coeur a la crème btw, so perfect! Love that you enjoyed the exchange again this year! Merry Christmas, Cher!

  4. Cher -look at that GORGEOUS photo of the sidecar! I see you are getting to grips with your camera in the best way possible! I cam glad you loved the coeur à la crème - hope it becomes a family tradition for you too! Merry Christmas, friend XO

  5. Great recipe selection Cher. Your couer la creme is gorgeous!

  6. Eduardo is into drinking hard ciders these days - I might have to drive myself to the store for some Cointreau and mix a pitcher of Guyla's sidecars. And do as the 'sane' people do. I skipped the coeur the first time because I didn't find a suitable vessel for it.

    Big hugs and champagne flute clinks! And hopefully IRL ones soon.

  7. Both recipes look great. I really should try that coeur a la creme again,
    especially in chocolate. Happy New Year Cher to you and your family,
    looking for more fun cooking and baking in 2015.

  8. Cher, It’s called being a bit obsessive-compulsive…I know this because that’s exactly how I am! I will keep making a recipe until it turns out the way I think it should! Hey it worked for you…Your Coeur a la creme looks fabulous! Hope your Christmas was fantastic, and wishing you an marvelous New Year!

  9. I haven't gotten Guyla's card yet - that drink looks amazing! And I want to try making that coeur à la crème for Kevin's birthday in February, if he's not fully vegan by then.

    Have a very happy New Year, Cher!

  10. That coeur à la crème looks very, very good! Also, you already know that I made the apple cider sidecar and those things are so good they are dangerous (I told my husband they put they "daaaaang" in dangerous). Happy New Year, Cher, and great photos!

  11. Very impressive, Cher! I will definitely have to try Mardi's Chocolate Coeur a la Creme. I received your lovely card yesterday! So glad we got to meet in person & hope to see you, again, soon! Wishing you & Joe a wonderful New Year! xoxo

  12. OK, Cher. Now I have two more recipes to make!!! :) I actually have some of the cider concentrate that Guyla suggests, so I think that's on the list! And the coeur à la crème looks wonderful. I like your description too. Hmmm.. just when I thought I'd stop making desserts for a bit! haha

    Happy New Year!

  13. These both look wonderful! I am looking forward to having the time (now that the holidays are over) to check out some of these wonderful Dorista recipes.


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