Thursday, January 16, 2014

Couer a la creme - a Valentine dessert

Leave it to the french to come up with a dessert as romantic as a Coeur a la creme. Sweet and creamy with a charming heart shape, this elegant but surprisingly simple dessert seems a perfect finish to a Valentines Day dinner, or any festive meal celebrating L'amour.
Interestingly I found many variations when searching for recipes: some use marscapone or cottage cheese, some add egg whites or gelatin. I adapted and tweaked a few recipes to come up with a tangy version with just a hint of l' orange. 

charming image from the old design shop, a delightful site with free vintage images

Orange Coeurs a la Creme
with Berry and orange liqueur coulis
& white chocolate crowns
(don't we sound fancy)
For the lovely heart shape, this dessert requires special molds with small holes on the base. These are available online and in specialty gourmet stores, but not having any available, I improvised with some supermarket disposable tart tins (99 cents for 8) 
I simply shaped tins into hearts and poked holes into bottom with a skewer
Coeurs a la Creme
1 (8oz) package cream cheese - softened
1 cup orange vanilla Greek yogurt
2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
2 tablespoons orange juice
Blend cream cheese and sugar until fully mixed. 
Add in yogurt and extract until smooth

Cut cheesecloth into squares large enough so excess hangs over edge of tins
Dampen cloth, wringing out excess water
Line tins with cloth, pressing to conform to shape 
Divide mixture evenly among tins, smoothing and pressing firmly
Place cookie cutters in baking pan several inches apart and set heart molds on top. 
This raises molds and allows sufficient room for extra liquid to drain out.
Chill molds in pan in refrigerator 4 hours or overnight (some recipes say 24 hours)
As Moisture drains from molds into pan hearts will thicken and firm up
Once set, carefully invert onto plate, peel back cheesecloth and garnish with coulis, berries and crown
*My hearts were slightly soft when unmolded and could have used more chilling time but no need for panic, they can be easily reshaped once set on plate

Berry Coulis
1/3 cup favorite jam ( I used 4 berry)
a splash of orange liqueur to taste
Berries for garnish
This super easy sauce "recipe" works on ice cream, pound cake, pancakes etc. 
Heat jam in small saucepan over low and and a add a little orange liqueur 
press through strainer and let cool
Drizzle on plate or using squeeze bottle make decorative accents or write a romantic message
White Chocolate Crowns
wax paper
white chocolate or chocolate melts
melt chocolate according to instructions
pour melted chocolate into a plastic baggie or 
squeeze bottle or simply spoon into rough crown shapes 
 Add sprinkles
 Chill quickly until firm 

A few romantic accents set the scene. I decided to forgo the usual pinks and reds, which I overdid last year, for more aged tones of cream and ivory,
An old set of wings displayed at Christmas is repurposed for February 14th. 
A paper crown under glass speaks of courtly love.
 Music and script get a sprig of rosemary symbolizing remembrance.

Paper & Lace Crown

You'll Need:
 Scrapbook paper, 
lace edging 

I sprayed a section of lace edging with metallic spray paint, and once dry coated it with a quick layer of Modgepodge for extra sturdiness.
I then glued it to a band of gold cardstock, adding some scrapbook accessories and quick paper accents for a regal touch
Lace crowns have been wildly popular for some time, from simple to quite elaborate. For lots of other fabulous versions and links to tutorials visit Pinterest

 Wishing Everyone Lots of Joy and Love this
Valentine's Day

For a flashback to last year's Valentine ideas
pop over to PennyWise's post Love is in the Air     

              PennyWise Tips
For a speedier version, this same mixture can be made as one larger dessert by pouring mixture into one larger sieve set onto a deep bowl and chill until firm and moisture drained. 
This creates a mound shape which can be presented on a plate, garnished with berries or sauce and scooped onto dessert plates, served like a pudding or trifle,
or alternately scoop into ramekins and drizzle with sauce


  1. They are one of my top favorite desserts and really not that bad for your figure. Hope you have a romantic holiday.

    1. Thanks Marie!
      You're so right- as desserts go, they aren't too unhealthy (and I used neufchatel creme cheese so it was even lighter)
      Happy Valentine's!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! After all the holiday cookies and cakes, it was fun to try something different :)

  3. Your dessert looks divinely delicious, and your crown is so clever and gorgeous! Both are so perfectly romantic for a Valentine's dinner. Thank you for linking up with Inspired Sunday!

    1. Thanks so much Laura! I've wanted to try this recipe for a while-
      so glad to be a part of Inspired Sunday

  4. Loving the cream and white theme. I keep buying those doves to dye pink and the kittens (they are 2 &1/2 yrs old now) keep eating them. Such is life!

    1. That's so funny - my cats (helpers) always get involved and they do the exact same thing when I do any bird crafts- Some of my cats are seniors and not sure if they will grow out of it :)

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks so much- this was a fun recipe to make :)

  6. Such a yummy dessert! Thank you for sharing at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

    1. Thanks Kathryn- and thanks so much for generously hosting your parties!

  7. This looks marvelously delicious! I am honored that you shared at Home and Garden Thursday!

    1. Thanks so much Kathy!
      -and thanks for hosting, I always enjoy your Thursday linky parties! :)

  8. Oh my goodness!
    Gorgeous Valentine's Day desserts.
    Thank You.

    1. Thanks so much Shrey!
      They really are easy to make! :)


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