This delicate dessert made with fresh soft cheese is a speciality of Gabriel’s native home of Anjou in France. The coeur or "heart" is moulded in a special heart-shaped porcelain dish that is perforated with holes to drain off the excess moisture of the cheese. (A colander can be used as an alternative, although you won’t end up with the same pretty shape.) The cheese traditionally used in this recipe is fromage blanc, but quark, which is more widely available in Australia, can be used instead.
- 2 egg whites
- pinch of cream of tartar
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
- 200 ml cream
- 250 g quark
- 1½ lemons, juiced
- 600 g raspberries
- 1 orange, juiced
- icing sugar, to dust
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Draining time 4 hours
Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar to stiff peaks. Add one-third of the sugar and continue beating until smooth.
Lightly whip the cream in a separate bowl.
In a third bowl whisk the quark with another third of the sugar and one-third of the lemon juice. Fold in the whipped cream, then gently fold in the beaten egg whites.
Place a heart-shaped mould on a tray. Line the mould with damp muslin cloth, then fill with the cream mixture. Cover with the muslin and drain in the refrigerator for at least 4–5 hours or overnight.
Puree half the raspberries with the remaining sugar, lemon juice and orange juice. Pass through a sieve to remove the seeds. Chill in the refrigerator.
Carefully turn the heart out onto a serving plate. Top with the remaining whole raspberries and dust with icing sugar. Serve with the raspberry sauce.