Coeur à la Crème … perfect for a special occasion … Valentine’s Day or even an anniversary dinner… it’s so beautiful.. a show stopper... for sure!
If you haven’t tried making Coeur à la Crème … you should… it is one of the easiest recipes to make and definitely makes an impressive presentation. The first time I ever saw one of these desserts was on the cover of a food magazine… I’m pretty sure it was Gourmet Magazine… it looked … as you can imagine… picture perfect… and I thought I could never do that… well… I could and so can you.
This dessert is a creamy cheesecake-like dessert without the crust. There are a number of recipe versions out there… just a word of caution…
A number of recipes call for crème fraîche …pronounced krem fresh… it is a French version of a sour cream… made from heavy cream and buttermilk… it can be difficult to find… you can make your own. I find crème fraîche to be an acquired taste… the American taste buds are more adapted to sour cream then crème fraîche … so consider the likes of your dessert companions when choosing a recipe to use… be it that special someone or the whole family… if you’re lucky enough to find the crème fraîche … taste it… then decide to use it or sour cream or try another recipe.
I tried the crème fraîche version and my man did not like it… at all… so I decided to try the Barefoot Contessa’s version… a sweeter version...it actually uses heavy cream instead of sour cream... a nice change from the typical cheesecake flavors ... a better choice for us. This is her recipe.
You need a mold… which can be found in stores or online… and is called … naturally … a Coeur à la Crème mold. The come in sizes… a bigger one about 7 inches is a common size… and individual sizes.
The recipe below makes enough for that 7 inch… it’s technically 7 ¼ inches… mold… but if you decide on the individual ones… just fill you molds… there’s no figuring or calculating baking times.. there’s no baking with this.
You can make Raspberry Coulis to accompany it.. or use a commercial syrup like a raspberry or strawberry one. I like to garnish it with fresh fruit.
Trust me.. this is so easy… and looks spectacular!
Recipe: Coeur à la Crème
All you need:
1 ½ pkgs. (12 oz. total) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
2 ½ cups cold heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
All you need to do:
Place the cream cheese and powdered sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Use the paddle attachment to beat it for 2 minutes, scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Change to the whisk attachment and add the remaining ingredients while the mixer is on low speed. Beat it until it has the consistency of thick whipped cream.
Line the mold with cheesecloth so that it overlaps the sides. Spread the mixture into the cheesecloth lined bowl, smoothing it out. Fold the overlapping cheesecloth over the mixture.
Place the mold in a bowl or pan so that it can drain. Ideally there should be a space between the bottom of the mold and the bowl…
Note: My mixture drained very ,very little… so don’t be alarmed if yours does the same.
Refrigerate overnight or about 8 hours (longer will be okay too… up to 24 hours).
To unmold, simply discard any drained liquid… and unfold the top cheesecloth and turn onto a plate… gently removing the cheesecloth.
Serve with a fruit sauce and/or fresh fruit.
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