Coeur à la crème is a dessert that looks and sounds fancy but really couldn’t be simpler. Easy to prepare in advance, this stunning creamy white heart against a vibrant strawberry coulis will wow your valentine! “Coeur à la crème” literally means “creamy heart” hence the heart-shaped moulds used in this recipe. Traditionally made with fresh farmer’s cheese, this dessert sits overnight in the fridge to set. Cheesecloth holds the crème together and it unmolds beautifully the next day. Can’t get hold of those special moulds? It’s no less delicious in a plain ramekin, simply spoon the coulis on top!
Note: You can use a stand mixer but unless you have multiple bowls you’ll find yourself having to scoop the ingredient you’ve just worked with into another bowl while you use the mixer for the next ingredient. If you are using a stand mixer, you’ll need the whisk attachment for the cream and the paddle attachment for the cream cheese/ icing sugar.
For the cœur à la crème:
For the strawberry coulis:
Make the coulis: Place the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small pot over medium-high heat. Stir and bring to a boil.
Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the strawberries are very soft.
Remove pot from heat and cool the strawberry mixture for approximately 10 minutes (you can transfer the mixture to a clean bowl to speed up the cooling process).
Use an immersion blender or a mini food processor to blend the strawberry mixture until smooth. Set aside and refrigerate.
Make the crème: Using a hand-held electric beater (see note), whip the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks (2 minutes on high).
In a separate bowl, using the same electric beater (no need to rinse the attachments), beat the cream cheese, ricotta, icing sugar and vanilla together until smooth.
Add the whipped cream, ⅓ at a time to the cream cheese mixture. Fold gently until thoroughly combined.
Prepare and fill the heart-shaped moulds: Line a small baking tray with paper towels.
Cut 12 squares of cheesecloth roughly double the size of heart-shaped moulds and dampen them slightly. Squeeze out excess moisture and lay two squares in each mould.
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Place a generous spoonful of the crème in each mold and smooth it to the edges. Tap the molds a few times on a countertop to help evenly distribute the mixture.
Place a couple of teaspoons of the strawberry coulis on top of the crème and gently smooth over top of the crème.
Fill the molds with the rest of the crème mixture, smoothing the mixture and tapping the molds on the countertop again to evenly distribute the mixture.
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Fold the overhanging cheesecloth over the top of the crème, loosely covering the entire surface.
Cover the top of each mold loosely with plastic wrap and place on the paper towel-lined tray.
Place in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
To serve: To unmold, remove the plastic wrap, open the cheesecloth and place a plate on top of the mould.
Flip the plate over so that it’s right side up.
Remove the mold then carefully remove the cheesecloth.
Carefully pour the coulis around the crème hearts.
Looking for more desserts that will impress your valentine? They’ll fall head over heels for these Chocolate and Coconut Pots De Crème.