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I’ve always wanted to make one of these. Isn’t it beautiful? I saw Martha Stewart make one once, and then Ina Garten made one on her show. When Gojee.com invited me to a virtual potluck, I knew I had to share one. A coeur à la crème (french for “cream heart”) is basically cream cheese, cream, and sugar, whipped together, placed in a cheese cloth inside a mold of some kind, and then left to drain overnight.

Once you have one of these coeur à la crème molds, or even a strainer, it’s one of the easiest, most decadent desserts you’ll make. There is no baking involved—just mixing and pouring. And it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day.

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Starting on Thursday, January 26, check out other potluck dishes fellow gojee contributors shared. Go to gojee.com and enter “gojeepotluck” into I Crave. You can also follow #gojeepotluck on Twitter.

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coeur à la crème with balsamic strawberries

6 ounces cream cheese (that’s 3/4 of a normal package), at room temperature
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
seeds from 1 vanilla bean (optional)
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon very good balsamic vinegar
strawberry coulis (recipe follows)

1. Line a 7 inch coeur à la crème mold or a fine mesh strainer with 2 layers of cheese cloth. Set on a rimmed baking sheet. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar. Scrape down the bowl and add in the cream, vanilla extract, and seeds from the vanilla bean. Mix slowly at first to ensure all cream cheese is incorporated, scraping down the bowl as necessary. When the mixture is smooth, with no lumps, raise the speed to high, and beat until fluffy.

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2. Transfer the cheese mixture to the cheese cloth lined mold. Wrap cheese cloth up around the mixture, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

3. While the cheese is draining, mix strawberries with sugar and vinegar. Let sit for several hours in the refrigerator, or for an hour or two at room temperature.

4. When the cheese mixture has finished setting up, discard drained liquid, and pull back the cheese cloth on the top of the cheese mixture. Place the serving dish upside down on top of the cheese mixture. Flip it over, and remove the mold. Carefully pull away the cheese cloth. Garnish with strawberry and vinegar mixture, and strawberry coulis.

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strawberry coulis

2-3 cups frozen strawberries, thawed
4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a blender, and pulse until pureed. Press through a fine mesh strainer.

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