Saturday, February 13, 2010

Coeur a la Crème

What a babe! Yes my darlings, there is my Valentine, 36 pounds of cute and cuddly with a big spoon full of la Crème in his mouth. Before everyone flips and says, my God, you gave that child an entire plate full of cream cheese and whip cream? Um, no, it was for the photo and I siphoned off a piece for him once the pictures were taken. I am sure everyone can guess what happened at that point, yep, pure, unadulterated rage at taking away the entire plate. Good times.

So, on topic here. I have been meaning to make this dessert forever and I finally got off my toucas, got the heart shape mold and did it just in time for Valentine's Day. I love any kind of food that has a wow presentation factor and in that respect, this certianly fits the bill. Side note here to not be afraid of drizzling some chocolate and caramel on top of this delightful treat.

As far as the taste and feel of the this dessert goes, I absolutely love that it has a light quality to it. I am a sucker for cheesecake but the drawback is that it is quite heavy and you almost have to have a dinner of salad for a dessert like cheesecake. The Coeur a la Crème is excellent in that the cream cheese is whipped with heavy cream thereby creating enough air to give it a light feel. The taste is delicate with a hint of lemon but also has a deep flavor with the punch of vanilla and tang of cream cheese. A truly elegant dessert that is a wonderful end to any dinner. The only word that can properly describe the taste is délicieux! Bon Appétit!

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris


12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
Fresh raspberries for serving


Place the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the beater and bowl with a rubber spatula and change the beater for the whisk attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the heavy cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and vanilla bean seeds and beat on high speed until the mixture is very thick, like whipped cream.

Line a 7-inch sieve with cheesecloth so the ends drape over the sides and suspend it over a bowl, making sure that there is space between the bottom of the sieve and the bottom of the bowl for the liquid to drain. Pour the cream mixture into the cheesecloth, fold the ends over the top, and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, discard the liquid, unmold the cream onto a plate. Serve with raspberries and sauce if desired.

Raspberry Sauce:

1 half-pint fresh raspberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup seedless raspberry jam

Place raspberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and orange liqueur into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.

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