Hot Mulled Cider

Ring in your New Year with a steaming mug of cider! Adult and kid friendly versions available!

hot-mulled-cider

Hot Mulled Cider

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

 

½ gallon freshly pressed apple cider

3 sticks cinnamon, plus more sticks for garnish

1 medium orange, unpeeled, sliced thinly

2 whole cloves

½ vanilla bean, seeds and pod: slice down the length of the pod, spread open, and scrape out the flesh by pressing with a butter knife

1 tablespoon honey, preferably orange blossom

⅓ cup brandy, optional

 

In a large saucepan or small pot over low heat, add all of the ingredients, and mix together. Stir occasionally until very warm. Serve in mugs with slices of orange.

Notes:

  • If the mulled cider will be sitting for an exceptionally long time, remove the cloves when the flavor is to your liking.
  • If you are a big fan of spice, combine 3 star anise and 1 inch of peeled, roughly chopped fresh ginger and put them into a tea strainer or mesh bag to steep along with the other ingredients. Much like steeping tea, remove the tea strainer or mesh bag of ginger and star anise when the desired flavor is achieved.

Almond Cake Imbibed with Espresso and Slathered with Chocolate Ganache

At about 2pm on New Year’s eve, as Super-sous and I were eating lunch, we began talking about how we wanted to spend the evening ringing in the New Year, 2013.

Feeling a bit tired from just traveling back from the East and getting ready for another trip this week, we felt like doing something low key, but also wanted to see our different groups of friends who were hosting parties in different spots in L.A.

As we sipped afternoon Lattes, Super-sous started a sentence by saying, “Okay, humor me on this one.” With my curiosity peaked, I nodded and she continued, “what if we a bake a bunch of little layer cakes and bring them to our friends at different parties throughout L.A.? It might be a bit of driving, but it could be fun?”

I think it was before she could actually complete her sentence, that I was already pulling out my recipe for Jaconde, the layers that comprise a classic French Opera Cake. In a word: delicious. After several hours of baking, the result was 9 cakes, each consisting of 3 layers of light and spongy almond flour cake heavily imbibed with espresso simple syrup, slathered with chocolate ganache and then rolled in sliced almonds. We dropped off the 9 cakes at different parties and whether the cake was received at 10pm or 1am, I can say with certainty, that it was devoured with equal enjoyment by all.

Something delicious is coming in 2013…

2013 is just hours away!

As I reflect on this year’s adventures (and many Lattes), I look forward to another 365 days and all the future has to offer.

I’m also very excited about something that Super-sous and I have been putting together for all of you to enjoy in 2013… 52 delicious weeks of ???

2013preview

 

Intrigued? Well, I think I’ll let it be a surprise; only a handful of hours remaining in 2012.

I wish you all a safe and magical New Year’s Eve and a delicious 2013!