Monday, February 10, 2014

Coeur a la Creme

 If there was ever a dessert that screams Valentine's Day, this is it! Translated, it means Heart of Cream, which is exactly what it is! It's a delicious velvety heart of luscious cream that is rich and decadent and light and fluffy, all at the same time. Basically, it's kind of like if whipped cream and a cheesecake had a baby, it would be Coeur a la Creme. Absolutely fabulous, right????
 I first heard of it when I saw Ina Garten making it on Barefoot Contessa, and immediately knew I'd be making it for my next Valentine's Day post. I even went on Amazon to buy the heart-shaped dish (which was very inexpensive, btw). And it turned out perfectly!!  Fun, huh?
 So if you have a certain someone special that you'd like to surprise with a fabulously delicious and easy dessert, this is the one to make! It couldn't be easier, and you should definitely serve it with the raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries. I PROMISE you'll absolutely impress the hell out of everyone. Like, seriously. Add some candlelight and soft music?
 Best. Date. Ever.
You're welcome.

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
Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce
2 half-pints fresh raspberries

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 or paper towels or coffee filters 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, and drizzle Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce around the base. Serve with raspberries and extra sauce.
 Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce:

1 half-pint fresh raspberries
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)

Place raspberries, sugar, and 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.

The heart-shaped dish which is specifically made for this dessert has holes in the bottom to let the liquid drain, but you really don't need it. You can just use any kind of mesh strainer. Just know that your final product will be in the same shape as your strainer. Of course, you can always purchase one on Amazon buy clicking on the Amazon link on the right side of my page!
If you don't have a vanilla bean, just add a couple extra drops of pure vanilla extract.

For the sauce, I added a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice. I think it needed a little burst of brightness. 
 Not a raspberry fan? Try another berry instead, such as strawberries or blueberries. I bet the sauce recipe would still work! I'm gonna hafta give that a try.
 This sauce would be AMAZING poured over ice cream, or angel food cake, or chocolate cake, or brownies, or lemon pound cake, or pancakes, or waffles, or french toast, or your significant other. 

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