A Sweet Something for Valentine’s Day

{Images courtesy of Loren Ioppolo –  thanks Loren!)

Coeurs a la Crème with Strawberry, Rhubarb & Elderflower Compote

So, it’s been some time since i’ve posted here… but before I explain myself and outline our hopes and dreams for Équilibre in 2014,  I felt the need to share a recipe just to get things rolling again. After all, everyone needs more Sophie Zalokar recipes in their life, whether it be Valentine’s Day or not!

Last spring I was lucky enough to leave my little family for a (somewhat long) day and travel down to our beloved Foragers in Pemberton to attend a special event in conjunction with Kinfolk magazine.

It was all about preserving the season and for someone who has had very little experience with jam making and pickling vegetables, I came away truly inspired. (You can see and read more about this lovely event organised by the inspirational Stacey Clark, here.)

The delicious reward for our hands-on work in the kitchen was a beautiful seasonal lunch, topped off with the delectable dessert that i’m sharing with you here, thanks to Sophie, our host and teacher for the day…

For me, it ticks all the boxes of a good dessert – not overtly sweet, but very satisfying. A contrast of flavours with the smooth, rich creaminess of the crème against the sweet tartness of the compote (which I could imagine dolloped on my morning granola.) The elderflower adds an exotic element as you try to determine what that little something extra is (really quite aromatic, too). The fact that its french name means ‘hearts of cream’ makes it an ideal finale to a romantic Valentine meal, although the ingredients serve 8-10, so I would be inclined to share the love around! This is a dish to be enjoyed with the senses and with the company you are keeping.

Coeurs a la Crème with Strawberry, Rhubarb & Elderflower Compote (click to download the full recipe)

My notes on the recipe:

  • Use a good quality ricotta. Over the Moon Dairy has an amazing ricotta and creme fraiche, otherwise ‘Mundella’ or ‘Casa’ would be good options (just don’t use the ‘smooth’ style brands)
  • I’m sure Sophie has a beautiful infused homemade version of Elderflower syrup, but for our purposes, ‘Bottle Green’ does a decent Elderflower cordial (available in some supermarkets) which i’m sure would do just nicely.
  • The strawberry, rhubarb combination was delightful but substituting other berries would still work a treat (blueberries or raspberries spring to mind).
  • Hooray for finding another worthy use for all those muslins wraps now that my babies are no longer babies! (Along with squeezing zucchinis to use in zucchini bread, or draining yoghurt for labne).

Need more ideas about how to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a heartfelt, non-commercial way? Read my thoughts here. Whatever you do, why not also make it a day to shower a little more love on the one person who probably needs it the most – you!

Looking forward to sharing more with you here, very soon!

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