French Fridays with Dorie: Holiday card and recipe exchange 2014

Profiteroles filled with chocolate coeur a la creme on eatlivetravelwrite.comFor this week’s French Fridays with Dorie post we’re doing something a little different. Every year for the past three years, we’ve had a French Fridays with Dorie holiday card exchange (organized by the fabulous Alice) and this year we were asked to include a special recipe in with each card.  Today, many of the Doristas will be posting the recipes they received from others (edit: check out what Cher did with my recipe!) and I had every intention of doing so as well…

Since I tend to receive the majority of my cards after the holidays (I’m never home during the holidays!), I was careful to make a neat pile on my desk at work of the handful that arrived, planning on making sure they got first dibs in my luggage. On my way out on the last day of school, my arms were laden with all sorts of other things (indoor shoes, work I probably won’t get done but it makes me feel better that I have it “if I feel like it” 😉  and seemingly an entire store of Tupperware… and somehow the neat pile of cards stayed put 🙁 Still, I’m looking on the bright side and thinking what a lovely treat it will be to come back to that in the New Year.

Which brings me to today’s post. And my own recipe – coeur à la crème. Specifically, the chocolate version.  Whilst it might not seem very Christmas-y, this is, indeed, the dessert that I know my mum would be making if both my sister and I were home for the holidays (actually, anytime my sister is home or at my house, this is the dessert we make!).  My mum used to make regular coeur à la crème when my sister and I were in high school (yes we were very fancy!) and then discovered chocolate made them even better (welcome to my family!).  My sister instantly fell in love with the chocolate version, in fact, so much so that she would beg my mum not to use  the pretty heart molds and just leave the mix in a giant bowl. From which she would eat.

Everyone else’ serving size:

Chocolate coeur a la creme on eatlivetravelwrite.comand my sister’s portion:

Coeur a la creme in a bowlI’ve written about these before (and actually written about coeur à la crème many times before too) so I wanted to do something a little different with the recipe.

And since apparently you can take me out of my kitchen but you can’t take the baker out of me, I had this crazy idea that I would make profiteroles and stuff them with the coeur à la crème. Sounds good right?  “But wait, aren’t you in South West France in rental kitchen right now?” I hear you ask… Why yes I am but profiteroles really just need a hot oven and some elbow grease to get the eggs mixed in properly and as soon as I saw the oven in the place we are staying (new!), I knew it would be ok.  We celebrated Christmas Day yesterday at Camont with dear friends Kate, her sister Steph and their mum Phyllis, and Monica – I was in charge of bringing some desserts while Mr Neil was in charge of the wine pairings for the epic multi-hour meal.  I thought these would elevate the coeur à la crème to something a little special (since I wasn’t going to buy the heart-shaped molds to leave here – I don’t even think *I* would use them in a rental property, i.e. ours!).

I’ve been a little obsessed with all things choux-pastry recently (remember when I taught the Petits Chefs to make profiteroles – including a batch in a toaster oven? It’s giving me ideas for next week when I will only have access to a toaster oven…) and, ahem, if you search my blog for “choux pastry”, you’ll find all this:

The first time I made choux pastry, when I was so surprised how easy it is!
That time we made a savoury, goat cheese-filled puff version
Then there were these espresso profiteroles
A fancy Paris-Brest for French Fridays with Dorie
My choux version of a lamington
That time I took a class and made a bounty of éclairs
That time where I taught three kids how to make Dorie’s savoury goat cheese puffs
More profiteroles
And a chocolate version of profiteroles from Baking Chez Moi…
I mean, I’ve even written a tutorial about how to make choux pastry
And the Petits Chefs visited The Gallery Grill one time and Chef Suzanne taught them how to make éclairs and profiteroles

I love making choux – it’s so easy and so rewarding!

So on Christmas Eve after a long day waiting for deliveries at the new house, furniture shopping, measuring, putting together furniture, food and wine shopping and apéros with our neighbour, I came back to the rental kitchen and made choux puffs. I used Charmian Christie’s recipe because I happen to have it printed out and tucked into my “book” (a notebook which basically contains plans and notes about recipes, blog posts etc… one I would hate to misplace) and we’ve had a terrible time with the internet in our rental property this week so I didn’t want to wait ages to maybe be able to pull up Dorie’s recipe, maybe not (although hers is my “go to”).

Et voilà:

Choux puff profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe coeur à la crème, I adapted slightly because I wanted it to be a little softer than it normally is. I used a mixture of fromage frais and cream cheese and crème fraîche instead of whipping cream to give it some tang. Though I apparently didn’t wait long enough for the chocolate to cool because it started to harden as soon as it hit the cream mixture…

Chocolate coeur a la creme in a bowl on eatlivetravelwrite.comI didn’t really think anyone would complain though – I mean it was going to be tucked away inside choux puffs!

I nearly didn’t get a picture of the finished product – when the company, food and wine is as good as it was yesterday, things like photos and blog posts are so not important….. Fortunately for this post, the profiteroles are better when they’ve been filled and sit in the fridge for a while so I managed to snap a pic of some of the finished ones just as the light was fading…

For French Fridays with Dorie Profiteroles filled with chocolate coeur a la creme on eatlivetravelwrite.comThese, I am pleased to say, were a huge hit. So fancy. But – sssh – so easy too!

Get my recipe for chocolate coeur à la crème here.

To see what everyone else made from either the holiday card and recipe exchange or as a make up recipe, check out the French Fridays with Dorie site.

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16 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie: Holiday card and recipe exchange 2014”

  1. I love when we have so much fun at gatherings with friends and family that we forget to take pictures. That should always be the goal. I love how you twisted your coeur a la creme tradition with these profiteroles. So, so cute! I wouldn’t have minded the chocolate chunks.

  2. I love that you were ambitious despite being away in a foreign kitchen. I had never heard of coeur a la creme until FFWD. Your profiterole version looks amazing – and I heart profiteroles. Happy holidays Mardi.

    • This is the BEST dessert I have ever tasted (the coeur a la creme part). Thankfully I wasn’t there, as, yes, I would have eaten the whole bowl of them. As I am such an expert chef myself, I would like to add my own tip: if you put the chocolate mixture in the freezer, it sets more quickly (and you can eat it sooner).

  3. Mardi – this is brilliant! I wanted to make your recipe but it arrived last minute and I couldn’t get my hands on any cream… so this will be an after the holidays recipe for me, but this is a great way to incorporate the coeur a la creme! Happy holidays Mardi!

  4. I badly wanted to make your recipe, Mardi, but ran out of time. Methinks it will be a New Year’s Eve treat for my husband and I. Hope your holiday continues to go well. Those profiteroles look fantastic!

  5. Such a delicious and elegant dessert Mardi. I hope you are both having fun setting up your new place, I can’t think of anything more exciting. Jim and I wish you both a Happy New Year.

  6. I love how you put a new twist on an old favorite. Family favorites are so special. For my birthday, my sister made me a book of my mother’s family favorite recipes. What a treasure! I hadn’t realized how obsessed you’ve become with choux. Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

  7. Mardi – my family LOVED your chocolate cream dessert. Loved, loved, loved 🙂
    The profiterole version was a great twist on this.
    Happy New Year!

  8. Your profiterole version of this dessert makes something even better of a dish I thought couldn’t be improved. I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday. Happy New Year!

  9. Love your profiterole version of this dessert! I can’t wait to give the Couer a la Creme a try! I think it would be a perfect New Years eve treat! Happy New Years Mardi!!

  10. Aloha Mardi, A note to thank you for the consistency of your efforts. Your blog always tantalizes my taste buds and slips France into my consciousness in the most pleasant way. Wishing you a wonderful 2015 .. Thanking you for enriching 2014 for so many of us.

    Mahalo et Merci, Bill Facker

  11. Oh my!! Your dessert looks so wonderful! I love your story about your mom, sister and you. Adorable. And speaking of adorable, Love your profiteroles.

    Interesting about your history with choux puffs. I learned to make them early on, but because my mom always served them with savory fillings at cocktail parties. It was years (!) before I ever had a sweet version.

    It sounds like you are spending your time delightfully! Enjoy. And all my best wishes for a Happy New Year!


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