Coeur à la Crème with Raspberry Sauce

serves 6-8

Note: If you don't have a large heart-shaped mold, you can still make this in any dish with perforations like a colander or sieve.

8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature

3/4 cups confectioners' sugar

1 2/3 cups cold heavy cream

1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Raspberry Coulis (recipe follows)

1 pint fresh raspberries

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on high until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.  With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and change the paddle for the whisk attachment.  With the mixer on low, add the heavy cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and vanilla seeds.  Turn the mixer to high and whip until the mixture is very thick, like whipped cream.

Line a large heart-shaped mold with cheesecloth so the ends drape over the sides and place it in a bowl, so that the bottom of the mold does not touch the bottom of the bowl.  This will allow the liquid to drain.  Pour the cream mixture into the cheesecloth, smooth the top, then fold the cloth ends over the top, and refrigerate.

To serve, discard the liquid in the bowl and unmold the cream onto a large serving plate.  Serve with raspberry sauce and fresh berries.  Enjoy!

Raspberry Coulis

makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 pint of fresh raspberries, or 12 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons framboise liqueur (optional, but good)

In a blender, purée the raspberries with the sugar, lemon juice, and framboise.  Set a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl and strain the raspberry mixture, pressing firmly with a rubber spatula.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.  Stored in the refrigerator, the sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance.

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