If you’re looking for an easy but stunning dessert for your Valentine, check out this classic Coeur à la crème, which translates literally to “heart of cream.” The most difficult part of the recipe is buying the mold and cheese cloth. The rest of the ingredients and steps are simple. You don’t even use the oven. Just prepare this the day before and let it set overnight in the fridge.
6 o.z. cream cheese at room temperature (do not buy the light version)
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon high-quality vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split in 2 and reserve seeds
1/2 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon high-quality balsamic vinegar
Strawberry coulis (homemade or commercial)
1 7-inch Coeur à la crème mold
Cheese cloth (Find the mold and cheese cloth at your local Cook’s Warehouse)
Line a 7-inch Coeur à la crème mold with two layers of cheese cloth. Set on a rimmed cookie sheet. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and seeds from the vanilla bean. Mix slowly at first to ensure that all of the cream cheese is incorporated. When the mixture is smooth with no lumps, raise the speed to high and beat until fluffy
Transfer the cheese mixture to the mold lined with cheese cloth. Wrap the cheese cloth up around the mixture and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
While the cheese is draining, mix the strawberries with sugar and vinegar. Let sit for several hours in the refrigerator, or for an hour or two at room temperature.
When the cheese mixture has finished setting, discard the drained liquid and pull back the cheese cloth on the top of the cheese mixture. Place a serving dish upside down on top of the cheese mixture. Flip it over and remove the mold. Carefully pull away the cheese cloth. Garnish with strawberry and vinegar mixture, and some strawberry coulis, or decorate with fresh raspberries
Yields a 7-inch Coeur a la crème mold
Adeline’s tip: You can substitute Turbinado sugar with light brown sugar.
About Adeline: Adeline Borra is private French chef and culinary instructor at Cook’s Warehouse. Born in Montpellier, France and raised in the wine region of Burgundy, she’s trained in high-profile kitchens across France. After spending three years in Torino, Italy, she and her family moved to Atlanta in 2006. Learn more on her website, macuisinebyadeline.com