I like making desserts. I think I enjoy it because the dessert, generally, is an admired part of dining. The dessert can be quite “showy” and also much anticipated. I have found that bringing the dessert to a dinner party is the fastest way to gain credibility, love and respect. Who would people appreciate more, the guy who brings a potato salad to a barbecue or the guy who brought a couple of summer tarts or tartlets? The answer is easy.
This dessert I particularly like. First of all, the essence of this dessert is its simplicity. Cream, sugar and a fruit. Secondly, I find it to be attractive, which is of course very important. Food always tastes better when it looks good. Lastly, this dessert is quite delicious. Honestly, Who doesn’t love cream and berries? Coeur à la Crème is actually very easy to make, but you need to give yourself time for it to set. The variability of this dessert is nice. There are molds you can purchase online, but a strainer would also work just as well. Also, any type of berry or syrup will work, so use what you have or what’s in season.
For the non-french speakers: Remember to get the pronunciation down for this name, after all, saying “Coeur à la Crème” in a very french accent only adds to the elegance of the presentation.
This recipe is from Ina Garten:
12 ounces cream cheese
1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. grated lemon zest
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
Mix the Cream Cheese and the sugar together with a paddle attachment for two minutes or so. Now replace the paddle with the whisk attachment and beat in the Heavy cream, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds and the lemon zest until thick… much like whipping cream.
Line a strainer or a Coeur à la Crème mold (the container must have holes in the bottom for liquid to escape) with cheesecloth or paper towels. Place the creamed mixture in the lined container fold the excess paper towel or cheese cloth over the mixture so it is covered and set suspended over a plate and into the fridge overnight, until it firms up.
Invert over your serving dish and dress the Cream mold however you would like.
Make a berry sauce and add your fresh berries and you have a perfect dessert that should impress anyone.