Vanilla Mascarpone Cream Hearts with Poached Quince

Silvena Rowe keeps busy cooks sweet with a simple do-ahead dinner party dessert served with a romantic flourish
By Silvena Rowe
Vanilla Mascarpone Cream Hearts with Poached Quince
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus chilling time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the hearts

  • 150 g mascarpone
  • 100 g cream cheese
  • 115 g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 125 g thick Greek yogurt

For the poached quinces

  • 600 g caster sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 lemon, thickly sliced
  • 2 large quince

Method

1. For the cream hearts:combine the mascarpone, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add cream and yogurt and beat again until thoroughly blended.

2. Line six porcelain heart moulds with squares of wet muslin and spoon in the cream mixture to fill the moulds. Arrange the moulds on a shallow tray, cover with cling film and refrigerate until set, for at least 8 hours or overnight.

3. For the poached quinces: meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2. Combine the sugar, spices and lemon in a casserole with 1 litre of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the syrup simmers.

4. Peel and core the quinces and cut the flesh into cubes, adding them to the simmering syrup. Cover carefully with a circle of baking parchment to help keep the fruit submerged in the syrup. Cover with the lid and transfer to the oven to poach for 3-4 hours. Leave to cool, then refrigerate until needed.

5. Lift the cream hearts out of their moulds using the sides of the muslin to help you. Invert each heart onto a serving plate. Spoon some poached quince and syrup around the hearts and serve.

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