Sorry about the heart, a day late and all. And for you Valentine haters, extra sorry.
This came out so good I really have to share it. (You don't have to make it in a heart shape!)
You might think this is "Coeur à la Crème" but it's not a sugared confection. My version was made from blue cheese, crème fraîche and beets. Hey, you like that combo in salads, don't you?
Now, this is not (repeat after me) a recipe blog, but here's how it goes:
I used one of those cute porcelain heart-shaped molds with tiny perforations in the bottom that allow excess moisture to drain out. My mold was the small kind, about 4 or 5 inches across, for two snackers.
What you do is take a guess at how much blue cheese would fill the mold about 3/4 full. Set it aside.
Then, this is the killer app part: Heat some crème fraîche over low heat and gently simmer a few fresh sage leaves and bay leaves. If you don't have fresh bay leaves, use some other fresh herb you like; you want to extract the fragrant oils from the leaves. (And if you do have fresh bay leaves, score their surfaces lightly with a knife.) I overcooked mine to the point that the crème fraîche turned into ghee, but the aroma was superb.
Take out the leaves and stir the flavored crème into the blue cheese. Stir until very smooth. I needed to stir in a spoonful or two of sour cream as well at this point because my mixture was too skimpy for the mold; it was a lucky move, probably, because the result was so-o-o tender.
Dampen a length of cheesecloth (a single layer is fine); wring out and line the mold. Pack the cheese into the mold, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate over a dish to catch drips, overnight.
Next day. Did you remember to cook the beets yesterday? Oh.
Take two or three tiny cooked, peeled beets, toss into the blender with salt, pepper, a small drizzle of olive oil, and probably more water than you'd think (you can do this in stages if you're uncertain). Blend until you get a smooth, spoonable goop. I might make mine thinner next time, but a little thick is good insurance against dribbling on your carpet.
Decorate your plate; you can slather the beet goop over or under the cheese.
Spread dablets on baguette slices.