Coeur à la Crème

Many years ago I purchased some Coeur à la Crème moulds, twelve small and one large. I don’t make Coeur à la Crème very often, but when I do I am always surprised by how lovely and delicate this dessert is. If you could eat a cloud, then this would be it – white, light and fluffy and just sweet enough.

For me, Coeur à la Crème is a perfect summer dessert. All you need to accompany it is a few fresh raspberries or coulis. Nothing else. Jane Grigson says, in her fabulous Fruit Book, that in winter it sets off the best preserves. You might also consider a dish of ruby red quinces – just imagine the colour!

If you don’t have Coeur à la Crème moulds, I think you could try small clean yoghurt cartons with holes pierced in the bottom.

Coeur à la Crème

Serves 6, draining time, overnight.

  • 2 egg whites
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 200ml cream
  • 250g very fresh ricotta cheese. Believe me, the fact it’s fresh makes a huge difference.
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • Fresh raspberries, or raspberry coulis to serve.

Beat the egg whites until just starting to peak. Add half of the sugar and continue beating to firm peaks. Lightly whip the cream in a separate bowl. In a third bowl whisk the ricotta cheese with the rest of the sugar until smooth. Don’t overbeat. Add the seeds from the vanilla bean, fold in the whipped cream then gently fold in the beaten eggwhites.

Place the moulds on a tray and line with damp muslin cloth. Fill with the cream mixture, cover with the muslin and drain in the refrigerator overnight. Carefully turn out the hearts onto serving plates and serve with berries or coulis.

Join me on cloud nine and enjoy.