Years ago, and we won't talk about how many years ago *ahem* I saw an episode on the Barefoot Contessa where Ina Garten made a dessert called Coeur a la Creme. I have no idea why this dessert stuck in my mind for so long. I decided to make my own version of Ina's Coeur a la Creme, but instead of making it a dessert, I decided to make my Coeur a la Creme savory highlighting the flavors of Sage and walnuts.
My family loved it. My husband said it was so good he was having trouble stopping himself from eating the whole thing. I have a hunch I will be asked to make this again :) —Dabblings
Test Kitchen Notes
Oh, my, this comes together fast! I sautéed the onions and garlic while the nuts toasted in the oven. I stuck them both in the fridge to cool while I whipped the cream cheese (she's right - have it at room temp!) and cream. When that mixture was just right, I added the onions & garlic, then poured it into a mold lined with cheesecloth. I refrigerated it overnight (the only part that took some planning), and the next day unmolded it, garnished it with the lovely walnuts, and delivered it to a sweet friend who had oodles of company for a wonderful wedding. The wedding was the hit of the weekend, but this was #2. Add it to your repertoire, by ALL means! —boulangere
Pre-heat your oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
In a small bowl combine the chopped walnuts, maple syrup, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Give it a good mix so the nuts are evenly coated. Spread the nuts on the lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes stirring halfway through. Allow the walnuts to cool completely and then set them in an airtight container.
Heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil is heated add the onion and the garlic to the pan and saute until the onion is soft and translucent. Add in the sage and saute for one minute more. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool.
Place the softened cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium speed until the cream cheese is thick and fluffy. It will resemble whipped cream. Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour in the heavy cream. Allow the cream to become incorporated with the cream cheese. Add in the wine and the cooled onion and sage mixture. Increase the speed to Medium-high and whip until the mixture is thick, creamy and everything is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and give it an extra spin just to make sure everything is really well mixed.
Line a 6-inch sieve with several layers of cheesecloth. Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the cheesecloth and smooth the top with a spatula. Fold the extra cheese cloth over the top of the cream cheese mixture. Set the sieve over a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day before serving invert your Coeur a la Creme onto a nice plate, top with some of the maple-nutmeg walnuts, garnish with extra sage leaves, and serve to your guests with some wonderful crackers. Serve the extra walnuts in a bowl on the side or stash them for yourself, I won't tell.