Cottage cheese and strawberry hearts on the chocolate bed

cottage cheese chocolate and strawberry heart 1Ever since I’ve started blogging I feel compelled to write a recipe for all special occasions or festivals. Because of the same reasons last week I found myself in the valentine-day-special aisle of a craft store near me. Surrounded by soft toys, pink hearts and frilly ribbons hanging on the wall I was feeling quite out of the place. I grabbed the heart-shaped cookie cutter I needed and ran out of the aisle as soon as possible……….…hooh!

cottage cheese chocolate and strawberry heart Once in the comfort of my kitchen it was the time to make a Valentine-day special dish. Since the bakeries and cake shops are full of heart-shaped cakes and cookies I wanted to try something different. And the inspiration came from my all-time favorite Indian dessert Sandesh. Sandesh, meaning message in Hindi, is a dessert very popular in Bengal – eastern region of India. In Bangladesh this dessert is called Pranhara, literally meaning ‘heart stealer’.

cottage cheese chocolate and strawberry heart 2The main ingredient for the dish, cottage cheese or chenna as it is known in India, is basically milk protein separated form water by addition of lemon juice, yogurt or vinegar. The simplest recipe of Sandesh requires mixing this cottage cheese with sugar, adding cardamom or saffron and rolling them out in balls. Some sandesh recipes ask for adding flour or milk solids to make them more firm and some shape them in to moulds.

To make this heart stealer I followed the simplest recipe which also happens to be my favorite. Now, how can a romantic dessert like this be complete without chocolate? To make it chocolaty I could simply coat my dessert with melted chocolate but this will harden to a brittle coat……….aah….not a good match for the soft, melt-in-your-mouth cottage cheese hearts. The consistency that pairs perfectly with the dessert and the glossy shine could only be provided by the chocolate ganache which is a fancy term for the mixture of chocolate and heavy cream.

And finally simple bright red strawberry sauces to complement the taste and the look of the cottage cheese hearts sitting on chocolate ganache bed.

cottage cheese hearts chocolate strawberry

Have a happy valentine day!! :)

Cottage cheese strawberry hearts

Ingredients

Cottage cheese hearts

  • 1l Milk
  • 3 tablespoons Lemon juice
  • Cheese cloth
  • 4 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Strawberry sauce

  • 1 cup Chopped strawberry
  • 1/2 tablespoon Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons Water

Chocolate ganache glaze

  • 5oz Semi sweet chocolate
  • 5oz Heavy cream

Directions

Cottage cheese hearts
1. Boil 1 litre milk and add 3 tablespoon lemon juice. Keep heating the milk until the milk solid separates from the whey. This takes about 2-5 minutes.
2. Pour the mixture in a bowl or colander lined with a cheese cloth. Filter the milk solids using a cheese cloth and remove as much water as you can by squeezing. The milk solid obtained at this stage is called cottage cheese.
3. Mix cottage cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a food processor or using a handheld blender until it is thick and smooth paste.
4. Transfer the mixture on a plate or a baking tray, flatten it and chill for at least an hour.
5. After the cottage cheese mixture is chilled cut out heart shaped pieces using a cookie cutter.
Strawberry sauce
6. Melt butter in a pan and add chopped strawberry.
7. Add water and cook the strawberries until they are soft.
8. Add sugar and blend it in to a smooth sauce. Sugar is added at the last step to avoid caramelization.
Chocolate ganache glaze
9. Chop 5 Oz of semisweet chocolate and transfer to a bowl.
10. Boil 5 Oz of heavy cream and pour it on the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for 2-3 minute and whisk until all pieces of chocolate are melted and the mixture is smooth.
11. Pour the warm chocolate ganache on a plate and let it cool down to room temperature.
12. Place the cottage cheese heart at he centre of the chocolate ganache bed.
13. Place a smaller heart shaped cookie cutter on top of the cottage cheese heart and pour half a tablespoon strawberry sauce. Chill the hearts for half an hour before lifting the smaller cookie cutter.
14. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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5 Responses to Cottage cheese and strawberry hearts on the chocolate bed

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  3. Very nice Cottage cheese and strawberry hearts. Thanks for sharing.