Despite the recent articles touting greater weight loss from eating whole milk cheeses, indulging in favorites like Camembert (11.6 grams of fat per oz) or a schmeer of cream cheese on a bagel (10 grams of fat per oz) can potentially pack on the pounds. Take heart, fellow cheese lovers, for I have found a tasty cheese that contains…wait for it…ZERO grams of fat yet has full fat taste! Fromage blanc is a French-style cheese similar to creme fraiche or yogurt in texture with the tang of sour cream. While relatively common in France, it may be more difficult to obtain in the US. Check the local Whole Foods or gourmet market dairy sections. Be sure to buy it with the intent of immediate use as it does go bad rather quickly and at $4 for 8oz, it isn’t cheap.
I first heard about fromage blanc while watching Ina Garten on the Food Network. Being a barely passable cook, I am typically cautious attempting new recipes for fear of burning down the house. That said, there was something about Ms. Garten’s recipe for Honey Vanilla Fromage Blanc that drew me to the stove. The result was a light, flavorful, fresh, and just amazing dish that can be served as either a dessert, in between meal snack, or even a satisfying breakfast. Below are step by step instructions for this simple dish with photo goodness(bonus raspberry sauce recipe!) Give it a try and let me know how it turns out.
Raspberry Sauce. No cheese…wait for it!
- 1 half-pint fresh raspberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup seedless raspberry jam (12 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon framboise liqueur
Combine the raspberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes.
Pour the cooked raspberries, jam, and framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until very smooth. Chill.
Honey and Vanilla Fromage Blanc
- 32 ounces fromage blanc
- 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 1/2 c. honey
- 4 t. vanilla
- 1/2 t. freshly grated lemon zest
- Vanilla seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
Stir the fromage blanc, cream, honey, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and vanilla seeds together in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble, spoon the fromage blanc mixture into shallow bowls. Place the fruit artfully on top and drizzle the dessert with raspberry sauce.
Serve with extra raspberry sauce on the side. I find that some people like it less sweet with just a drizzle of sauce while others prefer more sauce.
2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics