Thursday, July 31, 2008

Coeur a la Crème--Barefoot Bloggers Bonus Recipe

In addition to posting two of Ina Garten's recipes a month, on the second and fourth Thursdays, Barefoot Bloggers creator Tara from Smells Like Home, gave us a bonus "challenge." Each month, the BB whose site "refers" the most hits to the Barefoot Blogger's site (which is here--hint, hint!) gets to pick a bonus recipe that members have the option of making and posting on the last Thursday of the month. The first challenge winner was Becke of Columbus Foodie, who had over 200 hits from her site to the BB site. (Congrats Becke!) Becke chose an intriguing recipe, Coeur a la Crème, from Ina's Barefoot in Paris book (page 189) or on the Food Network site (here).

My favorite food resource, Food Lover's Companion defines Coeur a la Crème as: "[kewr ah la krehm] French for "heart with cream," this classic dessert is made in a special heart-shaped wicker basket or mold with holes in it. Cream cheese is mixed with sour cream or whipping cream (and sometimes sugar) and placed into the cheesecloth-lined mold or basket. The dessert is then refrigerated overnight, during which time the whey (liquid) drains out through the basket or perforated mold. To serve, the dessert is unmolded and garnished with fresh berries or other fruit"). I had heard of and even tried Coeur a la Crème but I had never tried making one (Partly because I had thought that you needed a heart-shaped mold and I did not need another gadget in my kitchen and partly because I assumed it would be "fussy" to make) so I was very interested in trying this recipe.

Ina suggests using a sieve with cheesecloth if you don't have a mold so after deciding to halve the recipe, I chose to put it in my small strainer. I also found I did not have any Grand Marnier and didn't want to purchase any, so I decided to use some nice Framboise (raspberry liquor) that I happened to have in the sauce instead, figuring the extra raspberry couldn't hurt. I thought I was being original but when I looked up the sauce recipe in the book, Ina uses framboise in that one too. That Ina is always one step ahead!
Coeur a la Crème with Raspberries and Grand Marnier Sauce

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, recipe follows
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 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, Drizzle Raspberry Sauce around the base. Serve with fresh raspberries and extra sauce.

Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce

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

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 orange liqueur into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Chill. Yield: 2 cups

Results: Very good! I had used a double layer of cheesecloth and the sieve is a fine mesh, so I don't know if I was able to extract all the liquid I could have during the draining process. There was only about a tablespoon of liquid in the bottom of the bowl I put the sieve over after about 20 hours in the refrigerator but it did not seem to effect the texture much. My Coeur a la Crème turned out creamy and delicious and was so simple to make. I don't know what the Grand Mariner did to the flavor of the sauce but I really liked the added raspberry flavor of the framboise. This was an easy, low effort dessert that has a big "wow factor" even if it is not heart-shaped. I would definitely make it again.

Thanks Becke for a great recipe choice! You can check out the list with the other Barefoot Blogger's and see who did the bonus recipe here.


  1. Wow! How pretty! I halved the recipe and got no liquid but the product seemed pretty solid. It just didn't look nearly as good as yours.

  2. What a beautiful coeur a la creme! It looks just perfect, makes me feel kind of silly for buying a heart mold *just* to try out this recipe. Oh-well, now I will have to get creative and find other uses for it, I'm thinking valentine's day cheese "ball" heart LOL You know, I also did not have any liquid drain off...

  3. this looks like something they serve here called "fromage" (cheese), it is light and fluffy cream cheese served in cheesecloth.

  4. Wow, yours looks so good! Did you like the dish?
    ~The Cat's Pajamas

  5. Oh! And thanks for the definition. I was wondering about that.
    ~The Cat's Pajamas

  6. Looks great, I love framboise.
    I looked high and low for a mould but will also be making it in my small strainer.
    Very pretty dessert!

  7. looks very pretty. this was definitely a good bonus choice.

  8. Webbie--thanks--I think the bright red of the berries and sauce helped!

    Andrea--trust me I would have bought the mold too if my tiny kitchen had room! I think a heart-shaped cheese ball is very romantic! ;-)

    Kat--it does sound very similar, espcially if it is sweetened too.

    Cat's Pajamas--I loved this recipe. Glad the definition helped--I like to know what i am making! ;-)

    Natashya--knowing you it will come out looking like it should be in a magazine no matter what you use!

    Karen--thanks! It was a great choice!

  9. This dessert really does have a WoW factor and yours is beautiful! The strainer works just as well as the mold. Framboise should be the way to go if the liqueur added to the flavor. I couldn't taste the Grand Marnier. Great job =D

  10. You know, I bought a heart-shaped pan after watching that episode where she made this. I haven't used it YET, but one day, I'll come up with a good reason.

  11. Very pretty! I actually think I like the circle better than the heart mold.

  12. Wow, yours looks so pretty. I really like how you made a little circle of raspberries around it!

  13. That looks fantastic - what a gorgeous presentation! I didn't know exactly what a coeur a la creme was until now, either, so I'm so glad you enlightened us! I don't have any Grand Marnier either so I've been siphoning off the Cointreau for various recipes - is it sacrilege to use it for cooking and not margaritas?!

  14. Thanks for the definition, I had never heard of Coeur a la Creme before and was completely clueless! Your's looks so pretty with the raspberries!

  15. Just beautiful! I'm kicking myself for not squeezing this one in.

  16. It looks wonderful! Wow! I love that you can make something so great without anything fancy like another dish (though this is so good I'll not mind getting the dish so I "have" to make it again!)

  17. Shandy--Thanks! I really liked the framboise--it really enhanced the raspberry.

    Stephanie--This is a good and easy reason to use that mold!

    Meryl--I loved seeing everyone's shapes--they all turned out so well.

    Ann-I know I keep thinking I want the dish but my cupboards say no way!
    Mary Ann--Thanks--it was the lack of a heart pan that made me decorate more! ;-)

    Michelle--I think its fine as long as you use it for both! ;-)

    Cakelaw, Mel and Prudy--Thanks! (and Prudy there is still time!)

  18. Love the ring of raspberries! This recipe was such a winner. Go, Ina!


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