Coeur à la Crème
The French classic Coeur à la crème means "Cream Hearts," so called because the cheese and cream mixture is placed in special wicker or ceramic heart-shaped molds which allow the excess liquid to drain away (available from a variety of specialty cookware sellers), producing a firm, yet delicate molded cheese dessert.
With an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone, 1/4 cup of the cream and the vanilla paste until thoroughly blended. Set aside and refrigerate.
In a small bowl, beat the remaining 1 cup cream, adding the confectioners gradually, until the cream forms stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chilled cheese mixture with a rubber spatula.
Rinse six pieces of cheesecloth in cold water, squeeze dry and line six small Coeur à la crème molds. (Or one large piece of cheesecloth to line the large mold.) Spoon equal portions of the cream mixture into the molds.
Fold the overlapping ends of the cheesecloth over the top of each mold. Place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate overnight.
To serve, unfold the cheesecloth and invert each mold onto chilled dessert plates. Lift off the mold and carefully remove the cheesecloth.
Sauce generously with Strawberry Balsamic Cream, fresh berry coulis or Chocolate Ganache and garnish with fresh berries and mint sprigs.