Coeur a la CremeEach forkful is heavenly! It’s easy to make Coeur à la Crème in a heart-shaped mold. Photo © copyright Peabody Rudd.


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STEPHANIE ZONIS focuses on good foods and the people who produce them.



February 2007
Updated February 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cheese-Butter-Yogurt

Recipe For Romance: Coeur à la Crème

Page 2: Making Coeur à la Crème


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Making Coeur à la Crème

If the fresh cheese used is not perfectly smooth, such Ricotta - Mozarella Frescaas ricotta (photo at right), it may be worked in a food processor until it is of a smooth texture. Alternatively, such cheeses are sometimes sieved to remove lumps, whisked for the same purpose, or left as they are. In most cases, the cheese is then beaten with the sweetener, flavoring, and any coloring. Heavy cream is whipped and folded into the mixture, although some recipes have cooks add the cream as a liquid and fold in beaten eggs whites, while others omit the cream altogether, sometimes substituting sour cream for the heavy cream (so much for saving on calories, but this isn’t a dessert for dieters to begin with). Following this, the cream and cheese mixture Coeur a la Creme moldis typically packed into cheesecloth-lined, special ceramic molds (bottom photo at right), which may be sized for individual servings or larger. These molds have holes in them, an important feature, as the Coeur à la Crème must drain (over a plate and in the refrigerator) before it is served. The draining process allows enough liquid to drip out of the mixture so the dessert will hold its shape when it is served; I’ve seen instructions that allow for dripping times of between 2 and 24 hours. Obviously, Coeur à la Crème must be made in advance, but it is not a dessert that will keep for two weeks, either, even in the fridge. Remember, this is a dessert made with fresh cheese, so you’ll want to consume it quickly. 

If you don’t have a pierced, heart-shaped ceramic mold, you don’t necessarily need to purchase one (the 4-ounce, individual Coeur a la Creme mold shown above is $3.99, and there are other sizes available). One older cookbook I have has a Coeur à la Crème recipe that is drained overnight in a colander in the refrigerator. After that, a heart-shaped mold (not pierced) is lined with dampened cheesecloth, and the drained mixture is packed tightly into the mold and left there until serving time. Of course, the heart-shaped mold used here is not mandatory, either. You could use individual ceramic soufflé ramekins instead, for instance.

Coeur à la Crème is traditionally garnished with fresh berries (often raspberries or strawberries) and/or served with a red berry sauce to complete the Valentine’s Day theme. But depending upon the recipe you use, I wonder if a chocolate sauce couldn’t sometimes be used in place of that berry sauce. For example, if your recipe called for cream cheese or mascarpone, and was sweetened, I’d think that a chocolate sauce would be an ideal accompaniment, giving you a dessert with many elements similar to chocolate cheesecake. I haven’t tried this idea, but for many people, a chocolate sauce trumps one of berries every time!

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