Rose, Yoghurt and Cheese Hearts with Rhubarb Sauce

You can buy individual heart-shaped pierced moulds imported from France in good kitchenware shops. Like much kitchenware, they are worth looking out for when you are in France, as they tend to be cheaper. Line the moulds with damp muslin or cheesecloth to stop the mixture drying out too much. If you cannot obtain moulds, pierced yoghurt or cottage cheese cartons are a good substitute, but you will, of course, lose the heart shape. I use the pink, tender, forced rhubarb in this recipe.

Ingredients

Rhubarb Sauce

  • 12 oz / 340 g rhubarb
  • caster sugar, to taste
  • freshly grated nutmeg

Rose Hearts

  • 5 oz / 140 g thick, plain Greek-style yoghurt
  • 4 oz / 110 g curd cheese or sieved cottage cheese
  • 4 tsp rosewater
  • clear honey or caster sugar, to taste
  • 2 egg whites

Method

Chop the rhubarb into 1 in / 2.5 cm chunks, but do not peel it. Rinse it, and place in a saucepan with the sugar. Cook gently, partially covered, until the sugar has dissolved, and the fruit is tender. Rub through a sieve, sprinkle with nutmeg, and chill until required.

Blend the yoghurt and curd or cottage cheese, mix in the rosewater until smooth, and sweeten to taste. Whisk the egg whites to form peaks, and fold into the cheese. Spoon the mixture into lined moulds, place on a plate, and refrigerate for about 12 hours to drain and firm up. When ready to serve, turn out on to plates, and carefully peel the muslin from the moulded cheese mixture. Serve with the rhubarb sauce poured over.

Variations

In summer, use soft fruits instead of rhubarb to make the sauce.

Instead of rosewater, use orange flower water in the cheese mixture, or stir in freshly chopped mint. Mint hearts go well with a blackcurrant or raspberry sauce.