This is one of my all-time favorite recipes. I LOVE cheesecake, I describe this coeur a la creme as the lightest cheesecake you'll ever eat, silky smooth melt-in-your-mouth texture with a hint of white chocolate flavor. It pairs wonderfully with any number of fresh fruits and/or sauces. This time I chose a blackberry sauce, depending on the season, I've made it with blueberry sauce, raspberry sauce, and for a striking red Valentine's dish, strawberry sauce.
This recipe in English means heart with cream, since many coeur a la creme molds are heart shaped, usually porcelain dishes with holes in the bottom for draining. I find a solid 8-inch fine mesh strainer (OXO has a perfect one) makes an excellent substitute, if not quite as pretty. Coeur a la creme can be sweet or savory, made with anything from the cream cheese, white chocolate, and whipping cream I used, to creme fraiche and cottage cheese. Coeur a la creme is easy to make ahead of time and truly delicious. I hope you'll share this dessert with your Valentine many times throughout the year, enjoy!
Coeur a la Crème recipe from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
Blackberry and Grand Marnier Sauce recipe adapted from Ina Garten:
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
For the Coeur a la Crème:
3 oz. good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
8 oz. cream cheese (not low fat), room temperature
1 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided, 1 cup chilled
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
For blackberry Grand Marnier sauce:
1 half-pint fresh blackberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup seedless blackberry jam
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
Step 2: Prepare Mold
Cut two sheets of cheesecloth big enough to fully line your mold and extend beyond its edges enough to enclose filling completely.
Dampen the cheesecloth with water, wring it out, and put them together to make a double layer. Lay the cheesecloth atop the mold or strainer, pressing it smooth along the base and walls and letting the overhang fall over the sides. Set aside.
Step 3: Prepare Coeur a La Creme
Microwave the white chocolate in a microwavable bowl in 20 second intervals on high. Stir between intervals, and heat only until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
Having two mixer bowls for your stand mixer would be nice for these steps, if you don't, you'll need to transfer the first mixture to a different bowl, wash and dry the mixer bowl and the whip attachment. Or, you could reverse the steps, whipping the cream first, transferring whipped cream to a different bowl, this way you don't need to wash the bowl out. If you do have two mixer bowls, chill 1 cup heavy cream in the second bowl until you need to whip it.
Mix the cream cheese, 1/4 cup cream, and the sugar in a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the white chocolate and beat for 2 minutes, until very smooth.
In another bowl, beat the remaining 1 cup cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
Spoon into the prepared mold, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Fold the cheesecloth over to enclose it completely . Place the mold on a rimmed sheet pan (I used a bowl large enough to hold the colander with room to let it drain). Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight.
Step 4: Prepare Blackberry Sauce
Place blackberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes.
Strain the cooked blackberries into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, add the jam and orange liqueur and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and chill.
(Now that I have a Vitamix I skip the straining part and blend everything together until smooth.)
Step 5: Unmold and Serve
When ready to serve, remove the mold from the refrigerator, and discard the liquid, if any, that has collected beneath it. Pull back the cheesecloth, and carefully invert onto a serving platter. Gently pull away and discard the cheesecloth.
Serve in generous dollops, slice if you like, in shallow bowls, topped with blackberry Grand Marnier sauce. Enjoy!
Covered tightly with plastic wrap, the coeur a la creme will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator. The blackberry sauce can be stored, in a covered bowl, for 3 days as well.