Thursday, June 18, 2009

Coeurs a la Creme with Blackberries (Page 837)


  • Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Brian, Emilee, Sam, Teri, and Terry
  • Recipe Rating: B

My brother Spencer and his girlfriend Ellen got me coeur a la creme molds as a present this past Christmas. I was super excited, as those molds had been sitting on my Gourmet Project Wishlist for quite some time, and I just couldn't find them anywhere. You might be thinking to yourself, "What are coeur a la creme molds?" Chances are, you've never seen one. They are small ceramic molds, in the shape of a heart, with holes in the bottom. It's like someone took a ramekin, made it heart shaped, and then poked a bunch of holes in it. This item has limited utility. Many things you would make in a ramekin, even if you wanted them heart-shaped, would leak out the holes. So, the molds are very specific to this dessert, which isn't a popular one in the US, and hence I couldn't find them anywhere! Ellen found them though, and I had been waiting for a special occasion to try them out. When my parents and Emilee, Brian, and Sam were here before the wedding, I decided to give them a try and make this recipe. I started by beating together cream cheese, sour cream, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and lemon juice. The Book then directs you to "Force mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl." They make it sound easy but in reality this was a HUGE pain. The mixture was very, very thick, and hence it was none too happy about going through a fine sieve. The Active Time for this recipe is supposedly 15 minutes, but that step easily took 15 minutes by itself. Once that was done, I lined the molds with a single dampened layer of cheesecloth, then I put the cheese mixture into them. I put them in a shallow pan in the fridge overnight. I made the topping by mashing blackberries with sugar, then adding more whole berries, creme de cassis, and lemon juice. I let the mixture sit for 20 minutes. I unmolded the coeur a la creme onto plates and topped with the berries. This dessert was a little odd. Obviously it was delicious, but it was so, so rich. It was like biting into a heart shaped blob of cream cheese. The one thing that was remarkably nice about this dish was the texture. Apparently forcing it through a fine mesh sieve was worth it because there was an incredible lightness to the texture, that did a bit to counterbalance the richness of the ingredients. The berries were also a lovely complement to the cheese. This was the type of dessert where the first bite was amazing, but then it was so rich that after a few bites I didn't want to eat it any more.

The recipe is here.

One more post about our honeymoon trip! Throughout our honeymoon, I was on the lookout for wildlife. I really wanted to see a moose (and eventually I did see one -- unfortunately it was dead by the side of the road). Even without a live moose sighting, we did have some funny wildlife moments. When we visited Yellowstone, we happened upon a small traffic jam. This was especially odd because Yellowstone was practically empty the day we were there. So what caused this traffic jam?

Bison in the road! There were lots of bison on the hill next to the road, and then there were two bison just walking down the road, leading a line of cars. It was pretty funny. Most people stayed in their cars, but a couple people were standing in the road to get pictures. This seemed like an especially bad idea given all the warnings in the park about how many Yellowstone visitors were gored by bison last year! They look harmless enough, but apparently they aren't always too friendly.

During our 4000 miles on the road, we drove through many areas where there were road signs saying "Open Range." Indeed in many of those areas there were cattle grazing very near to the road, and occasionally they would walk across the highway. Somewhere in Utah, though, we came upon this guy, who wasn't walking in the road, he was just standing there.

We figured he would probably move out of the way eventually, but we were wrong. He just stood there and stared us down until we went around. As we drove around him, he gave us a not-so-nice look!

Besides the bison and cows we also saw many, many deer, elk, antelope, and a variety of rodents we couldn't identify. No live moose though. Maybe next trip!


Adam said...

I love how the LinkWithin widget suggested "Buffalo Meatloaf" as a related post. I wonder how many folks sitting in the bison-induced traffic jam thought that the bison would look better on a plate than standing in the road.

The Coeurs a la Creme look delicious. I probably won't be making these for a while, at least until my wife is back eating dairy. But when I do make them, I may ask to borrow your molds if I can't find any.

Teena said...

That is really funny! I have to admit I had the "Mmmm, bison" thought at least once while we were in Yellowstone!

You are definitely welcome to borrow my Coeurs a la Creme molds. Just let me know when you need them!