I know it’s Shrove Tuesday today, but with Valentine’s day in just five days time I’m playing to an audience of romantics with this stupendous, creamy, fruity dessert. That said, doesn’t everyone love cheesecake?
I am currently awash with recipe ideas, but when I was thinking out loud about what I could feature on Primal Plate’s blog to symbolise this celebrated upcoming ‘day of love’ Sarah informed me that firstly, no one in their right mind wants to cook when romance beckons and secondly, it mustn’t contain onion, garlic, spices or anything that makes you smell! Apparently, this meant my musings on Thai-inspired prawn curry was a definite no-go!
The rebel in me is now determined to cook Thai prawn curry and drink pink Champagne with my lover this Valentine’s day but, so no ‘young hearts’ be offended, I have also complied with Sarah’s brief for the perfect Valentine’s day meal (the main course will be posted on Friday). In the meantime, feast your eyes on this luscious dessert that should appeal to all lovers of good food, not just the romantically inclined.
You’ll probably need to order these heart shaped moulds straightaway if you want to surprise your Valentine with these Feeling Fruity Sweet-Hearts. My plastic cheese moulds arrived within a couple of days (whatever happened to those beautiful porcelain coeur a la crème moulds of yesteryear?), so hopefully you’ll have them in time. You then need to line them with a double layer of muslin (I obtained muslin squares from Lakeland) or a single layer of cheesecloth.
Although this sensational dessert looks like a ‘work of art’ on the plate, in accordance with Sarah’s remit, there’s no cooking involved, it takes minutes to assemble and both the ‘hearts’ and fruit coulis can be made a few hours in advance and kept refrigerated until you’re ready to serve them.
A delight to the eye and totally scrumptious to eat, I’ve deliberately put this dessert together as a generous sharing-plate for two. However, if those intimate ‘we wanna be together’ moments are likely to be hijacked by hungry longing or downright competitiveness - i.e. you or your partner has a tendency to eat more than their fair share - this recipe has enough ‘heart’ to fill two moulds! Alternatively, if you’re confident that your beloved would give you their last rolo, you can halve the cheesecake recipe and make just one - although I’d still make the full quantity of fruit coulis and have what’s left spooned over some Greek yogurt for breakfast.
Ignoring chocolate, I think Feeling Fruity Sweet-Hearts maybe one of the most ‘happy-ever-afters’ ever created!
Wishing everyone a very Happy Valentine’s, with all my love. x
Feeling Fruity Sweet-Hearts (Serves 2 + 2 people)
Ingredients - for the cheesecake hearts
200g full-fat ‘cream’ cheese (I used Longley Farm full-fat soft cheese)
200g organic, natural Greek yogurt
100ml organic double cream
2 tbsp organic raw honey
2 tsp organic lemon rind, finely grated
Ingredients - for the mango & raspberry coulis & fruit skewers
200g ready-cut fresh mango chunks (I used Waitrose own brand)
Juice of ½ lime (about 20ml)
Juice of 1 organic medium orange (about 90ml)
150g fresh raspberries
1 heaped tbsp Sukrin icing sugar (or to taste)
2 (or 4) strawberries, washed (with leaves intact)
1 kiwi, peeled - 1 (or 2) slices cut from the middle of the fruit, then each slice halved
2 (or 4) mango chunks (reserved from the above pack)
1 (or 2) black grape(s)
1 (or 2) mini bamboo skewers
Instructions - to make the cheesecake hearts
Line two heart shaped moulds with a double layer of muslin or a single layer of cheesecloth.
In a medium sized bowl beat the cream cheese, yogurt, honey and lemon rind together until smooth.
In a separate bowl half-whip the cream until it just begins to hold its shape, then using a metal tablespoon gently fold into the yogurt and cream cheese mixture until fully incorporated.
Divide between the two heart shaped moulds - bang them down several times on the worktop as you’re filling them to allow the mixture to settle evenly inside the moulds - then level off the tops, stand on a large flat plate, cover loosely with cling film and place in the refrigerator for 1½ hours.
Instructions - to make the mango and raspberry coulis
Place all but two (or four) of the best pieces of mango into a blender with the lime juice and half the orange juice. Blitz until completely smooth.
Scrape the mango puree into a clean bowl. The coulis should be smooth and a pouring consistency - runny enough to slowly ‘flow’ when you tilt it on the plate but not so runny that it won’t hold its shape. Cautiously add a little extra orange juice if it seems too thick. Cover and refrigerate.
Next, wash out the blender. Tip the raspberries with the rest of the orange juice and a heaped tablespoon of Sukrin icing sugar into the clean blender and blitz until amalgamated.
Pass the raspberry puree through a fine sieve into a separate bowl. Check the consistency (as above) and add a little more icing sugar if you think it is too tart. Cover and refrigerate.
Instructions - to make the fruit skewers and assemble the dish
First, prepare the fruit garnish by threading pieces of fruit onto mini bamboo skewer(s) in the following order: strawberry (leaf facing inwards), kiwi, mango, grape, mango, kiwi, strawberry (leaf facing inwards). Set aside.
Take a large flat plate and carefully pour or spoon a generous amount of the mango coulis on to one half of the plate - pick the plate up in both hands and tilt it one-way only so that it runs to the outside edge on its side of the plate.
Repeat the process with the raspberry coulis but in this case tilt the plate in both directions so that the two coulis butt right up to the edge of each other (roughly down the middle of the plate) and the raspberry coulis runs to the outside edge of the plate on its side. Do the same thing with a second plate if two couples are dining together.
Take the cheesecake heart(s) out of the refrigerator and working swiftly, carefully turn the heart(s) out into the palm of one hand, remove the muslin with your other hand and gently but swiftly place in the centre of the plate(s).
Place the fruit skewer(s) jauntily alongside (see photograph) and…
Ooh la la! Tuck in!
The origin of the word coulis is French, from couler, meaning ‘to flow’ - which should give you an idea of the consistency your fruit coulis needs to be for this dessert!
If you think it sounds too tricky tipping delicate cheesecake heart(s) directly into your hand, simply turn the hearts out onto their serving plate first and then carefully pour the coulis around them.
If you you’re trying to lose weight you can sweeten the cheesecake cream with two tablespoons of Sukrin icing sugar instead of raw honey. This will reduce the carbohydrate grams per serving by 8.5 grams i.e. Carbohydrate 19.5g - not 28g, as shown below.
Carbohydrate 28g Protein 3g - per serving (half the sharing plate)