Try French cuisine for an elegant Valentine dessert

Robin McDaniel
This elegant dessert takes a little effort but is a beautiful and delicious Valentine treat.

This elegant dessert takes a little effort but is a beautiful and delicious Valentine treat.

For Valentine’s Day I wanted something a little “over the top,” so I once again turned to the Food Network and one of my favorite chefs, Emeril Lagasse. This is an impressive and elegant dessert, but I found it easy to make. Don’t let the name of this dessert make you think twice about preparing it.

The French cuisine might have scared me off, but I consulted with my son, who is an excellent cook, about a couple of the culinary terms in the title. Kirk Jr. told me that “Coeur” is French and “Coeur a la Crème” translates to “heart of cream.” Coulis is a cold sauce. Kirk Jr. helped me as we looked over the recipes, so I decided if I had his help, I wanted to try Coeur a la Crème with Raspberry Coulis.

The experiment turned out even better than I thought because Kirk Jr. ended up doing all the work, and I got the privilege of eating it! It was very delicious.

Make this dish and impress your loved one. The only deviation we did from this recipe is that we added fresh blueberries along with the raspberries.

Coeur a la Crème with Raspberry Coulis

Recipe by Emeril Lagasse From Food Network

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup plain yogurt

4 tsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp. very finely grated lemon zest

1/4 tsp. lemon juice

pinch of salt

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Raspberry Coulis (recipe follows)

6 fresh raspberries

Fresh mint leaves for garnish

In medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients through the vanilla and beat together with a whisk until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Line a 6-ounce, shallow heart shaped ceramic ramekin or 6-ounce shallow oval ramekin with dampened cheesecloth. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the ramekin and fold the over-hanging cheesecloth over the top. Refrigerate the mold in a shallow dish to catch any drips for a least 4 hours, and up to 2 days.

To serve the dessert, unmold the coeur and carefully peel away the cheesecloth. Place the coeur on the center of a dessert plate, smooth side down. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving. Drizzle the Raspberry Coulis around the plate and garnish with the fresh raspberries and mint.

Raspberry Coulis

2 cups raspberries (about 12 ounces), rinsed

3/4 cup Simple Syrup, recipe follows

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

Bring the raspberries, syrup and lemon juice to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries are very soft, about 8 minutes.

Sprinkle the cornstarch over 2 teaspoons cold water and stir to dissolve. Pour into the simmering raspberry mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl; discard the seeds. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Simple Syrup

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

Combine the sugar and water in small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour the syrup into a container and refrigerate until completely cold, about 45 minutes.

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