Coeur a la Creme

Valentine’s Day is next week and I am already looking forward to one of the heart shaped boxes of candy that is often received on Valentine’s Day.  Mine from last year.

Valentine's Day Candy

We can thank Richard Cadbury for these ubiquitous boxes of candy that appear on store shelves in early January.  Mr. Cadbury was part of a chocolate manufacturing family in the UK.  It is believed that he produced the first such box in 1868. These were pretty boxes and once empty could be used to store various trinkets from locks of hair to love letters.  history.com

Below is a photo of one of the Victorian heart shaped boxes by Richard Cadbury . Photo credit candyfavorities.com.

Victorian Heart Shaped Candy Box

While the Coeur a la Creme is not chocolate, I guarantee it will satisfy any sweet craving you may have.  It is a delicious and beautiful dessert made with cream cheese and whipped cream.  It is then served with a raspberry sauce.  For a French dessert, it is remarkably easy to make.

The name translates to “heart of the cream“.  It is traditionally served in a heart shape and usually prepared in a porcelain Coeur a la Creme mold.  I think I purchased my 7-inch mold from Amazon for about $13.00.  I recently bought a set of four  4-inch molds.  If you do not have the mold, simply line a fine mesh sieve with cheesecloth and set over a bowl so it can drain.

I find that this recipe makes more cheese mixture than will fit into the 7-inch mold.  I have used the fine mesh sieve to mold the excess cream mixture but for this post I used my recently purchased smaller molds for the excess.  The last picture of the Creme is one prepared in the smaller mold.

The recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s cookbook, Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home. It is one of my favorite cookbooks. One can sense her love of Paris and all things French. The book also has a lot of beautiful photographs and is a pleasure to read.

I have made this elegant dessert several times.  It is really easy to make and requires no baking.  With its heart shape and red raspberry sauce, I think It is a perfect dessert to serve for Valentine’s Day.

Coeur a la Creme

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Coeur a la Creme

12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean

Raspberry Sauce

1 -10-ounce bag frozen raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 tablespoon Raspberry di Amore liqueur

For the Coeur a la Creme

Prepare a 7 inch Coeur a la Creme mold by lining it with a few sheets of cheesecloth so the ends drape over the sides. Place in a pan large enough to hold it.  Make sure that there is space between the bottom of the mold and the bottom of the pan for the liquid to drain. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.  On slow speed, add in the sifted powdered sugar until combined.  Then beat on hight speed for 2 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl and beater.  Change the beater for the whisk attachment.  With the mixer on low speed, add the heavy cream, vanilla, and vanilla bean seeds.  Beat on high speed until the mixture is very thick and has a consistency like whipped cream.

Pour the cream mixture into the prepared mold and fold the ends of the cheesecloth over the top. Refrigerate overnight to allow the mixture to drain.

For the Raspberry Sauce

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 liqueur into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth.  Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve, so that there won’t be any of the raspberry seeds in the sauce. Chill until ready to serve with the cream.

To Serve the Coeur a la Creme

Discard the liquid in the bottom of the pan.
Unfold the cheesecloth on top of the mold.
Place a serving plate on top of the mold and invert the mold.
Carefully remove the remaining cheesecloth.
Drizzle Raspberry Sauce around the base.
Serve with extra sauce.    

Notes:
1.  Original recipe calls for 1 half pint of fresh raspberries for the sauce.
2. Garnish with fresh raspberries, if desired.
3.  If you would like to omit the liqueur, replace with water or raspberry extract.
4.  I don’t care for raspberry seeds so I strain the raspberry sauce at least 3 times.

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