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.
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.