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
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.