…perhaps one or two days late for planning purposes, but at least I didn’t forget it this year.
Q and I spent the weekend in Tucson where a good friend was exhibiting her photography at her first big show in the Southwest. As we normally do when we’re spending time in car and then in a hotel room, we stock up on cookies, snacks and chocolate. Good chocolate…bars of it. Enough to make you want to swear off the stuff for at least a month. So this Valentine’s Day, I forgo the traditional two-pound box of truffles, and fall back on an old favorite from my days in culinary school.
Coeur a la Creme
12 oz. room temp cream cheese
1C heavy cream
1 lemon, zested, divided
1T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2C powdered sugar
1 pint fresh raspberries
1t raspberry liqueur
Place the cream cheese in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle and whip until it’s firm like whipped cream. Turn it down to low speed and add the powdered sugar, heavy cream, lemon juice and 1/2 the zest. Change the paddle to a whisk, then slowly, increase the speed to high and mix until it’s very thick.
Line a 6″ coeur a la creme mold with moistened cheese cloth, making sure to leave some draping over the sides. Pour the mixture into the mold and smooth the top with a spatula. Then, fold the excess cheesecloth over the top, covering the entire surface. Place the mold on a plate, refrigerate overnight.
To prepare the raspberry sauce, rinse the raspberries. Put the berries in a food processor, along with the sugar and liqueur. Puree, then strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer to remove all the seeds. You want smoooooth…chill.
When ready to serve, turn over on a plate and unmold. If there are creases in the surface, heat the blade of a knife in a glass of very hot water and run it over the surface until smooth. Plate, garnish with raspberry sauce. Yum.
Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. All rights reserved (c) 2011.