July 31, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers- Coeur a la Creme

This week's Barefoot Bloggers recipe - Coeur a la Creme- was chosen by Becke. I've wanted to try it since I first got Barefoot in Paris so I went ahead and ordered the heart dish from Amazon. However, I was trying to be practical and not fall into the must-spend-25-bucks-for-free-shipping trap, so I bundled my order with my cousin who was preordering a book coming out next month. In the past, I've preordered and my package has come in two shipments, even with free supersaver shipping. However, Amazon shipping must not have been feeling as generous this time so my dish did not arrive before the deadline.

So, I used my trusty old collander as a mold instead of the pretty heart she recommends (simply line the dish with cheesecloth, which I found in the baking aisle of my grocery store, and place it over another dish so it can drain- so fancy equipment needed!) I also saved the vanilla bean and tossed it in a jar with some sugar to make some vanilla sugar for my hubby. Yummy. In addition to the round form, I thought I would try making some star shape molds out of some Reynolds Star Foil Cups someone gave me. There was plenty of cream and the star molds really only needed a few tablespoons each.

I poked holes with an ice pick and propped them up on top of some plastic knives so they would still drain off. They turned out adorable and were a cheap alternative to my beautiful heart dish that is yet to arrive (but will surely be used the very same day, I'm so anxious now!) The best way I can describe this dessert is like delicious vanilla bean ice cream- but better. The vanilla flavor is strong and lovely and the strawberry sauce is the perfect compliment. Although the ingredients are similar to a no-bake cheesecake, I didn't feel like it was as heavy which was perfect for a hot summer night.

Naturally, I modified the recipe by serving it with strawberries and strawberry coulis instead of raspberries. Either would be a great addition so use whatever looks delicious.

I do have one word of caution- I never buy regular cream cheese and instead get the reduced fat Neufchatel cheese. I did remember to buy the good stuff this time but only got one package (you need one and a half) so I substituted Neufchatel for 4 ounces. I think this caused my dessert not to set up quite as well as it would have, even though I left it in the fridge for over 24 hours. Also, thanks to some lovely comments, I was able to find vanilla beans for a great price online at the Organic Vanilla Bean Company. So now that I have a good stock of vanilla, a beautiful dish on it's way, and plenty of cheesecloth, you can bet I'll be making this again. Another beautiful, delicious dish from Ina!

Coeur a la Creme
From Barefoot In Paris by Ina Garten

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
Strawberry Coulis (recipe follows)
1 Cup Sliced Strawberries

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, and drizzle Strawberry coulis around the base. Serve with sliced strawberries and extra sauce.

Strawberry Coulis
by Anne Strawberry

1/2 Pound of Strawberries
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1-2 teaspoons Water

Wash and trim strawberries. Place them in the blender with the sugar. Add just enough liquid to blend strawberries until smooth. Pour liquid through a sieve to remove seeds and chill until ready to serve.


  1. It turned out beautifully without the mold. Bonus, you can make it again with the mold!

  2. It looks lovely, but I am jealous that I didn't think of those cute stars! What a great idea, very,very adorable!

  3. I love the stars! I didn't use the fancy equipment either. I'm glad you like it. I think I might try freezing it next time. Also, I wish I would have done a strawberry thing. I love the flavor of raspberries but I cannot stand the little seeds- they make me gag.
    ~The Cat's Pajamas

  4. Looks delicious!

    I tagged you for a music meme on my blog! : )

  5. I love the stars. I, too, used strawberries.

  6. beautiful pics, i like the stars. i'd like to try this with strawberries the next time i make it.

  7. It looks beautiful and the pictures you took are quite striking.

  8. I love the stars--what a great idea and smart to make the vanilla sugar too. Beautiful pictures--the strawberries look so nice!

  9. Really great pictures! Looks refreshing and de-lish!

  10. Wow, that looks really delicious! I love the way the strawberries look against the white stars. The last picture is my favorite.

  11. I love the star shapes! And your photos are absolutely gorgeous!

    Thanks for the link for the Vanilla beans! I can't wait to get some!

  12. Oh my, look at how pretty the red is! This is a gorgeous recipe!

  13. Anne, I had no idea you were so into cooking and baking! I just looked at every single recipe that you have posted and I am a starving pregnant lady right now!!
    You take such great pictures as well. You are inspiring me to create my own blog of things I make. Maybe when our house is finished and I have alot more room to bake! Oh how I LOVE to bake!!
    Good to see you are doing well, Anne! I am putting you on my link list for sure!

  14. Wow, the red of your strawberry sauce looks amazing! I agree, this was creamy but light enough for summertime. I heart Ina.