Saturday, February 13, 2010

Coeur a la Creme, or in my case Petit Montagne a la Creme, with Lemon Curd!!

Yes, I know I should have little heart shaped molds for this BUT I didn't have any on hand, I did, however, have little flat topped mountain shaped ones so that's what I used! There are two parts to this recipe...the creme part which takes overnight and the curd part which takes about 40 minutes total, so start the day before in order to have it all right 'on the day'

PS The type is all over the place today on this posting and will not behave so forgive me for my inconsistency in typefaces!


6 ozs cottage cheese

4 ozs cream cheese

¼ cup either sour cream or crème fraiche (I used sour cream)

4 tablespoons of confectioners/icing sugar…more or less depending on your sweet tooth, the recipe I worked from said 1 tablespoon for twice the ingredients but that was way too subtle for moi!!

1 teaspoon vanilla essence/extract

1. In an electric blender, yes I gave in to technology on this one, blend the cottage cheese, cream cheese…you know what, everything above…until super smooth.

2. Find yourself a ceramic mold with holes in the bottom…I don’t know where mine came from but I just happen to have 2 on hand, you can also use small clay plant pots that haven’t been used before and give them a good soapy washing and a good rinse or, if you are very fancy, you can buy the special Coeur a la crème molds which are little ceramic hearts, hence the Coeur part, with holes in the bottom.

3. Cut some squares of cheesecloth (some people use paper towels for this but I prefer cheesecloth which you can actually buy at the supermarket if you look hard enough..try to get the tightest weave you can, not too open)…usually you use two per mold layered one on top of the other, then wet them and wring them out thoroughly, this helps the liquid to drain more easily, if you use dry cloth sometimes it won’t drain at all. Line the inside of the molds with the cloth.

4. Pour the cream mixture into the lined molds until nice and full then tap the molds hard on a smooth surface to help any air bubbles rise to the top and pop away.

5. Put the filled molds on a cooling rack or similar over a plate so the whey can drain away nicely and pop in the fridge overnight.

The Lemon Curd Recipe:

3 egg yolks lightly beaten

½ cup sugar

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ stick/2oz butter (yes I used salted, I like that kind of taste!!)

1. Put a pan of water on to simmer, you’re going to be using a double boiler to make the curd.

2. In another non-reactive pan or glass bowl mix together all the ingredients EXCEPT the butter and then put bowl or pan over the simmering water and stir, stir, stir until the mixture thickens slightly…the sauce can be a little runny when ‘set’…you don’t want it quite so hard as the usual curd…

3. Take curd off the heat and stir in the butter until all melted then allow the curd to cool….you can make this the day before or just before you are ready to unmold the crème.

To assemble:

1. Pour a goodly amount of the curd into the bottom of your chosen crème vessel.

2. Very gently tip a crème out of the mold and very gingerly remove the cheesecloth.

3. Pop the crème into the pool of curd…add a rose geranium leaf for adornment or a strawberry, or a raspberry or whatever you would like…a chocolate truffle…go crazy.

This is a very subtle dessert, the crème is very cremey and just slightly sweet but combined with the tangy bright curd it makes a lovely treat for Valentine’s Day especially so if you can get your hands on some Coeur molds…kind of helps if the dessert is heart shaped!!

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