It’s February and so romance is in the air.  If you are planning a romantic dinner a deux for Valentine’s Day, I heartily recommend making some of these.  You could divide the mixture in two and have one each and keep two in the fridge for another day.  They are DELICIOUS!


I bought some of these special Coeurs a la Creme moulds on ebay:

coeur a la creme mold

they have holes in the bottom so that you can drain off any whey that comes out of the cream cheese.  To be honest, there wasn’t any whey when I made them.  Perhaps cream cheese in the States is less processed than it is here, or maybe in the past it was…

I reckon these would be just as nice served in tiny tea-cups or ramekins or custard cups or whatever you have around the place.  The mixture is pretty rich though, so full sized tea-cups might be too mighty…

Recipe looks long, but it is worth it.  You have to make them in advance as they need to go in the fridge to firm up.

Patrick O’Neal’s Coeurs a la Creme

1/2 lb cream cheese

1/2 cup powdered sugar [icing sugar]

pinch salt

one-inch piece vanilla bean

1 American pint [475ml]  heavy cream [double or whipping cream]


8 heart-shaped wicker coeur a la creme baskets (or perforated tin molds)

1 – Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy; gradually add powdered sugar, salt and vanilla bean (slit bean lengthwise with sharp knife, scraping small seeds into the mixture)*; blend well.  Whip heavy cream (place bowl in larger bowl filled with crushed ice) until cream holds its shape.

2 – Add to cream cheese mixture blending with wisk.  Cut four thicknesses of cheesecloth large enough to overlap edges of each heart-shaped basket (or molds).  Wring out cheesecloth in ice water; carefully line each basket (or mold) with layers of cheesecloth.  Fill each basket (or mold) heaping full with cream cheese mixture.  Overlap ends of cheesecloth.  Refrigerate hearts overnight (or at least 6 hours) placing on plates to collect the whey.

For the sauce

1/4 cup dry sherry (or framboise)

1 and 1/2 ozs Grand Marnier (or orange liquor)

1 and 1/2 oz dark sweet rum

3/4 cup red currant jelly

1 and 1/2 cups fresh, cleaned, sliced strawberries (or raspberries or sliced fresh peaches)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 – Combine sherry (or Framboise), Grand Marnier (or orange liquor), rum and currant jelly in saucepan.  Heat over low heat to melt jelly but do not cook.  Cool, add strawberries coated with lemon juice.

2 – To serve, unfold ends of cheesecloth; turn each basket (or mold) upside down on glass dessert plate.  Peel off cheesecloth and discard.  Outline “hearts” with whole, fresh strawberries (raspberries or peaches) or spoon sauce over “hearts”. 

Serves 8.

  • I wasn’t too sure about this, I just added the seeds from the vanilla bean, not the barky bit…


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