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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Coeur A La Creme

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Coeur à la Crème is cream cheese and whipped cream #dessert with a fruit topping that’s traditionally made in the shape of a heart. I’d compare this dessert to being a French style cheesecake. Coeur à la Crème, by its name alone, seems as though it would be so hard to make, it turns out is easier than a traditional cheesecake.

I saw this dessert made by Ina Garten, who I love, and knew I had to recreate this dish, but in a style of my own. At the time, I didn’t have the correct mold.  Ina Garten made this dessert using a mesh sieve, so that’s what I used as well. Since then, I have bought a traditional Coeur à la Crème mold. Let me show you what one looks like.

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Let me walk you through how easy this dessert is to make.

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Vanilla Sugar Jar

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 24 hours
Equipment: Stand Mixer with whisk and paddle attachments, mesh sieve, heart-shaped mold, a large piece of cheesecloth, 1 large mixing bowl, 3-quart sauce pot, large serving platter

Ingredients:
12 ounces of softened cream cheese
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups of confectioner sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean, seeded
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large piece of cheesecloth

Ingredients For Blueberry Sauce:
1 pint fresh blueberries
1.2 cup granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup blueberry jam
1 sprig of fresh mint

Directions:
To start, add the softened cream to an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Let that mix on low speed for a couple of minutes. Next, add in the confectioner sugar and cream that together until the sugar is incorporated. A good tip is to have the mixer on very low speed while mixing in the sugar, otherwise, the sugar will spray all over the place.

Next, it’s time to change to the whisk attachment before adding in all the flavorings. Add in the lemon zest, vanilla bean seeds, (tip: add the empty vanilla pod to your sugar container and you’ll have vanilla sugar for future recipes), pure vanilla extract, and heavy whipping cream. Again, start the mixer on low speed, then crank it up to high. Whisk all the ingredients together until they have the consistency of whipped cream.

Using a mesh sieve or the traditional Coeur à la Crème mold lined with cheesecloth as seen in the above pictures, transfer the flavored whipped cream to the sieve. Make sure you have a large enough piece of cheesecloth ( you can purchase cheesecloth at you local grocery store) to cover the top of the flavored cream too.  Place the sieve with the covered flavored cream mixture inside a larger bowl to allow the excess liquid to drain, as seen in the pictures above. Transfer to the refrigerator and let set up for 24 hours. Discard the liquid.

Directions For Blueberry Sauce:
Add the blueberries to a sauce pot, reserving a good handful back for garnish.  water, sugar, and fresh lemon juice.  On medium heat, stirring all the ingredients together, watching until it comes to a bubble. Turn down to a simmer and let cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the blueberries start to burst and the juice thickened slightly.   I remove about 1/4 cup of the semi-cooked blueberries, place them into a small bowl cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator along with the reserved fresh blueberries.

Add the cooked blueberries and blueberry jam to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth. Place into a plastic container with lid and chill overnight in the refrigerator. That’s the blueberry sauce. The semi-cooked and fresh blueberries will give our sauce a variety of different textures.

The next day, remove the flavored cream from the frig.  Unfold the cheesecloth from the top of the mold. Place a large serving plate over the top and invert the whole dessert onto the plate. Carefully peel off the rest of the cheesecloth from the cream. You’ll have a white silky dome-shaped dessert with little specks of vanilla resting like a soft pillow on your serving plate.

Next, take the blueberry sauce, semi-cooked blueberries, and fresh blueberries out of the frig. If the sauce is too thick, add 1 maybe 2 tablespoons of very hot water to thin out the sauce, and stir well. Using a spoon, spoon the sauce over the top the dome-shaped cream and let the sauce fall down all over the sides. Spoon over the semi-cooked blueberries on the top of the sauce and let them fall all down the sides as well. Finally, take the fresh blueberries and sprinkle them all around the outside rim of the dessert. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

You could the berry for the topping. Raspberries would be delicious.

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Vanilla Cream Cheese Pound Cake With Sweet Ricotta Cream

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This Vanilla Cream Cheese Pound Cake With Sweet Ricotta Cream is a dessert that anyone can make from scratch without feeling intimidated by the process.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes (mixing batter)
Cook Time 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes
Inactive Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time:  2 hours 15 minutes
Equipment: two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2- inch loaf pans
Electric mixer

Ingredients:
Non-stick baking spray
4 tablespoons of Turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
8-ounce cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
3 cups of sifted cake flour (measured after sifted)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups of Ricotta cheese
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup powdered sugar
fresh mint for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325-degrees F.
Spray two non-stick metal loaf pans with non- stick spray. Sprinkle the insides of the pans with the Turbinado sugar, tilting the pans to cover evenly.

Place the butter, cream cheese, and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, until light and creamy. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure ingredients are well mixed. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the bowl before adding the next egg. Mix in the vanilla extract and vanilla seeds.

Combine the cake flour and salt in a large bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, scraping down the bowl and the beater with a rubber spatula. Mix the batter with the spatula to be sure everything is well mixed.

Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans, smooth the tops, and bake in the center rack of the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. The cake is done when toothpick or cake tester gadget, inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto a baking rack and cook for another 30 minutes

To serve, slice a piece of Vanilla Cream Cheese Pound Cake topped with a dollop of Sweet Ricotta Cream. Garnish with fresh mint.

 

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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

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My grandmother made pancakes she always added ricotta cheese to the batter.  She didn’t necessarily always make them from scratch. She’d take help from the store when she could. Why measure all the ingredients you’ll need when there are great box mixes available for pancakes and all that work is done for you.

Don’t get me wrong, if you have the time to make the batter yourself that’s awesome. I take a little help from the grocery store whenever I can. Truth is adding a few extra ingredients to the box mix makes a huge difference. I’ll show you my tricks in making the fluffiest and tastiest pancakes ever with my Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.

Yields: 4 silver dollar pancakes (approx. 6-inches in diameter)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: approx. 5-6 minutes per cake or until both sides are lightly golden brown
Total Time: 25 minutes
Equipment: 12-inch non-stick sautèpan, indoor griddle pan, rubber spatula, large mixing bowl, whisk

Ingredients:
1 cup of pancake mix (box mix that only requires water)
3/4  cup of water
1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, room temperature
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
1 stick of unsalted butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 200-degrees F.
The box mix calls for 1 cup of dry mix to 3/4 cup of water.

Starting with the wet ingredients, add the zest of one lemon, water, pure vanilla extract, and room temperature ricotta. Mix together really well until there are no lumps, and the water has a milky appearance.

Next, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix until the batter just comes together. DO NOT overmix. Set the bowl aside while preparing the non-stick pan.

Preheat a large sautépan (or griddle) on medium heat. Once the pan is hot lower the heat to medium-low, wait about 2 minutes. Next, add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.

Swish the butter around until it has completely coated the bottom of the pan. Using a 1/4 cup full (or a ladle equivalent) of batter at a time to the pan.

Allow the pancake(s) to cook properly. Do Not rush or flip too early. Let the under-side cook to a beautiful golden brown in color. When bubbles start forming on top and around the surface (batter side), they’re ready to flip. This process takes about 5-6 minutes, times may vary slightly.

NOTE: It’s always a good idea to make a tester pancake first so you know exactly what temperature the pan needs to be set on. This also gives the pan a chance to heat up evenly. After the small tester pancake is complete, start with the actual pancakes you are going to be serving.

Repeat this process adding an additional tablespoon of butter, to the pan, for each pancake you make or until all the batter is finished.

Note: While making the remainder of the pancakes, place the pancakes on a baking sheet into the oven to keep warm. Also, use REAL maple syrup, it makes a big difference.

 

 

 

 

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Fresh Peach Cake Topped With Pistachios

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Family and friends always ask me if it took me all day to make my Fresh Peach Cake Topped With Pistachios. Truth is it doesn’t. I’ll show you how easy this dessert is to make.

The sweetness from the fresh peaches with and that kiss of saltiness from the pistachios gives this cake great flavor and texture. This cake is so moist you’re not going to believe it! I do have a secret ingredient and I’ll explain that in a minute.

I start with making the batter.

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Fresh Peach Cake Topped With Pistachios

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 to 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: Stand Mixer, large mixing bowl, medium-size mixing bowl, small mixing bowl, offset spatula, 9 x 9-inch baking pan

Ingredients:
1/4 pound of unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar (reserve 1/2 a cup for the cinnamon sugar mixture)
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
4 ounces sour cream, room temperature
4 ounces of ricotta cheese, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups of sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sifted baking powder
1 teaspoon of sifted baking soda
1 teaspoon of sifted Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of pistachios, roughly chopped
garnish with powdered sugar or a dollop of fresh whipped cream

Directions:
Butter a 9 x 9-inch baking pan really well.

In a Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, start by adding the room temperature unsalted butter. With the mixer on low speed, add the sugar and turn the mixer up to medium speed for about 3 to 4 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy.

Next, reduce the speed to low, add the vanilla and two room temperature eggs, one at a time. Let that mix together for a minute before adding the room temperature sour cream. To that add, my secret ingredient, the ricotta cheese. Let that all combine. Turn the mixer off scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding the dry ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and Kosher salt. Turn the mixer back to low speed and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined, Turn the mixer off. You don’t want to over mix the ingredients once the dry has been added to the wet. Remove the paddle attachment and scrape as much batter off the paddle as possible. You want all that delicious batter for the cake.

Next, I’ve peeled, cored and then sliced five peaches in a medium-size bowl. In a small bowl add the ground cinnamon and sugar, whisk to combine.

Add half the batter to the bottom of the greased baking pan. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter out evenly on the bottom of the pan.

Arrange half of the sliced peaches into the batter, sprinkle them with a dusting of the cinnamon sugar. Next, add the remaining half of the batter and spread that over the sliced peaches. Arrange the rest of the sliced peaches, pressing them gently down slightly into the batter. Once more with the rest of the cinnamon sugar, really sprinkling it all over every part of the cake.

Finally, sprinkle the top of the peach cake with chopped pistachios. Transfer the cake to the refrigerator for 15 minutes to rest.

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, if a toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready. Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting.

Serve my Fresh Peach Cake Topped With Pistachios warm or at room temperature. Maybe with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, or a dusting of powdered sugar, YUM!

 

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