Monday, February 15, 2010

Coeur a la Creme with Rasberry Chambord Coulis Sauce for my Sweetheart (with some help from Ina Garten)-- two recipes in one!

I can't recall when I first learned of this French dessert.  This year, I decided it would be a lovely treat to make for my sweetheart, in honor of Valentine's Day.  I did a little research on this dessert and found that the ingredient components were either cream cheese, marscarpone or even ricotta cheese.  I ordered a mold on Amazon.com that has the traditional hear shape with holes on the bottom-- mine is a 7" mold, but they also come in individual molds:

I always have good luck with  Ina Garten's recipes, so I settled on her version of  Coeur a la Creme;  but I wanted to make my own raspberry coulis sauce.  While Ina's sauce sounded great-- with Grand Marnier, and rasperry jam, I didn't want to use a jar of my own homemade raspberry jam.  I made an amazing batch of homemade jam, that I am waiting to post at a time when the berries are in season again-- and I'm very selfish with it.  You really should make this recipe a day ahead, in order to allow the "whey" from the cheese to drain through the holes-- hence the translation of this recipe is "the heart of the creme". So, let's begin: Ina Garten's ingredients were cream cheese (room temperature), heavy cream (chilled), powdered sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and vanilla bean.



Instead of using vanilla bean, I buy vanilla bean paste. Never tried it?  It works well, and is less expensive, and you can see the pretty vanilla bean seeds.  I measured 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste. The prep takes just a few minutes, and the recipe takes less than five minutes!

 I wet a piece of cheesecloth, and set it into the mold, pressing it into the corners.


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.

 Like that!

The texture of the cheese filling is very light-- like a mousse.  Pour that into the mold.

What I did, next, was to lift the mold a little bit-- dropping it, to settled the filling.  Then, I tucked over the edges of the cheese cloth and covered the Coeur a la Creme.  This took very little time, at all!

Into the fridge, it went-- for a chilly night to settle down.  Now, let's me raspberry coulis sauce!  What? You've never made a coulis sauce (pronounced coo-lee)?  It's a very simply thing to do-- it's pureed fruit. I make raspberry coulis sauce, fairly often. I love it on ice cream, custards, and it's a key component for making peach melba-- I have a recipe I'll be posting on how I turn it into a delicious breakfast dish. But, back to making a coulis sauce-- this is so easy!

I freeze raspberries, and these are perfect for this recipe.  I simply rinsed them with  cold water-- no need to thaw them at all.  In a saucepan, I add 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon rind (about 1 Tbsp.), lemon juice of one lemon...
I cook the fruit for 5-10 minutes, on medium.  I love my immersion blender, and I've said this with many of my cream soup recipes.  Mine was so inexpensive, and I've used it for many years!  It purees fruit right in the saucepan. Otherwise, you'll want to use a food mill or to mash them.  Now, this ingredient is totally optional:

How cute is this bottle?  I don't drink much alcohol, but I keep my eyes peeled for miniature bottles of liqueurs, for cooking and baking purposes.   Chambord is made from raspberries, blackberries, Madagascar vanilla, Moroccan citrus peel, honey and cognac to create an all-natural Black Raspberry liqueur.

2 Tablespoons should do it!  The alcohol does burn off, so I let this cook a minute or two longer. Next, straining the pureed fruit is worth the extra few minutes. Using a fine mesh sieve, I pour about 1/2 of the pureed fruit, and use a spatula to kind of push the juice and to move around the seed. Raspberries have a lot of seeds!
Having made coulis sauce multiple times, I prefer to thicken it a bit.  I have bonded with Instant Clearjel, which I buy from King Arthur Flour. I like that it thickens fruit fillings, without clouding it-- like cornstarch or flour. But, you can use whatever you like-- or you can go with a thin sauce altogether.  I use about 1 Tablespoon, add some of the sauce and whisk like crazy (which is hard to do and photograph at the same time).
One last time, I run the coulis sauce with a fine sieve. See? There were a few lumps!  I like to pour mine into a squeeze bottle, or you can store it in a glass mason jar. It keeps for at least a week, but we usually finish it off sooner.  So, the next day was February 14th--




Well, there was some moisture on the tray! Now, for the moment of truth--

I placed a glass dish on top of the mold, and gently tugged at a corner of the cheese cloth. It gave!  Whew, it came out in one piece!
Traditionally, you want to add the raspberry coulis sauce around the heart.  If I had fresh raspberries, they would have made a pretty garnish. I even considered shaving some chocolate on top, but decided it against it.  By now, my husband was going "wow"!  
I was surprised how soft the Coeur a la Creme turned out to be.  It wasn't the least bit firm...

... I added the raspberry coulis sauce and garnished it with the sparse mint leaves from the garden-- and two frozen raspberries.

Happy Valentine's Day, Craig!  He loved it!  He loved it so much that he had seconds-- as did I.  This dessert is the perfect finish to a full dinner-- it's mousse like texture is light.  We didn't think that was too sweet. I did make a special dinner,and I will blog that one in the next few days. I promise, because it was delicious!  This dessert doesn't have to be exclusively for Valentine's Day.  To be completely honest, you really don't need a heart mold.  Maybe if I used ricotta cheese (and I will experiment with that) there might be a bigger need to let the filling "weep".  I'm even toying with an idea on how to use this filling for a different dessert.   

Even if you don't make a Coeur a la Creme, anytime soon-- the raspberry coulis sauce is something I enjoy making year-round. 
Valentine's Day is a special day for me-- Cupid's arrow struck on Valentine's Day, Craig proposed the following Valentine's Day, and we were married 11 months later.  I like to make our own Valentine's Day Dinner, with a lot of love.    I hope that all of you had a wonderful Valentine's Day. I sure did!  (Psssssssst, Craig always shrieks when I post his photo.  LOL)







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23 comments:

daniella said...

Well, they do always say that the fastest way to the core of a man's heart is through good food...just the way you make it! I'm pretty sure my husband falls in love with me more and more each time I make/bake something delicious.

Love all your recipes. Very cute picture of you and hubby.

Cristie said...

What a sweet Valentine to your Sweetie! Love your recipe.

Debinhawaii said...

This was one of my favorite Ina recipes from my Barefoot Blogger days--it's so delicious. Your raspberry chambord sauce looks wonderful.

frockandfork said...

That looks absolutely amazing ... and the pictures are so cute :)
hope you had a lovely Valentine :)

Kim said...

I've always wanted to try this Ina recipe. It came out beautiful. So glad you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day.

George Gaston said...

Debby, you are one creative lady. Not only does this look delicious, it was made especially for the one you love.

Great photos....

TKW said...

Looks like we both were on the booze train this weekend! :) This is lush!

bella said...

Chambord liquor is my all time favorite after dinner drink (and just plain to drink alone too!) This has to be a wonderful dessert because 1) it originated from Ina and 2) YOU made it.....gotta try! Funny: You used Chambord and I used Limoncello liquors! Hope you had a happy sweetie day! Roz

Claire (Culinarygoddess.com) said...

Looks great! Happy Valentines Day!

Karen said...

Wow, what a treat! It looks so fancy - perfect for Valentine's Day!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I've made Ina's Coeur a couple of times and have the mold too. It always turns out great.

Congratulations to you and your Valentine sweetie. Great picture of the two of you.
Sam

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

How can you go wrong with cream cheese, raspberries and Chambord? I'm falling in love just looking at the photos!

Lisa said...

Looks beautiful. I've always wanted to try this recipe. I think my husband would love it.

Ingrid said...

I love two for one deals! Did you know?

Thanks for sharing the recipes. I had no clue coeur a la creme was sooo easy! I'll also be trying your coulis sauce. I'm thinking it would work with blackberries which I seem to have grown a "thing" for.

Why does he shriek over that photo? I think you guys look great.
~ingrid

Monica H said...

Ooh this looks luscious and right up my alley. I lurve cream cheese and now I must get my hands on one of those molds! I wonder if I could substitute something else. hmmm?

Happy Valentine's to you both. That's a great picture of you two!

Stacey Snacks said...

Deb,
I love that cupid photo of you and Craig, it's so sweet.
and that bottle of Chambord....yum!

Susan said...

Wow! What an impressive, but apparently easy, dessert! I will have to give this a try. :) I love Ina.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Deb, You 2 lovebirds look so cute! I never made this or even tasted this. I also would be curious to see how to make it with ricotta maybe a little lighter calories wise? Either way, it looks wonderful! Great step by step,I could almost taste it all.

WizzyTheStick said...

This looks faboulous. I love the mold. Ohh the possiblilies...I'm wondering if it would work with a low fat yoghurt cheese so that I can have this for beakfast

Cathy said...

What a lovely dessert, Debby. We can always count on Ina, can't we? I think I have enough raspberries in the freezer for some of your luscious sauce. Beautiful post.

Velva said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...

Marguerite said...

Fabulous recipe and photo of you two!

Cathy W said...

How romantic! :) The title of your dessert alone made me swoon. This really looks fabulous...and you can't go wrong with Chambord.