Here are the outtakes from my coeur à la crème flavoring experiments. I was going for high concept, thinking that it might be fun to highlight different aspects of love.
The center (which I thought I’d call Ground Up Angel Wings) is flavored with Meyer lemon zest and Clear Creek kirschwasser, the bottom (Heartbreak) is Angostura bitters, the right (You Dirty Slut, my favorite and the one my Valentine wouldn’t touch) is habeñero, Qi Black liqueur, and cinnamon, and the left is boysenberry (Boysenberry). He liked Boysenberry the best, which I guess means our love sign is Boysenberry.
But honestly, if you wanted to have a Down with Love Valentine’s celebration, you could do something that looks like the second picture. I particularly liked the slightly bitter edge of the Angostura bitters-flavored crème on the bottom. The Angostura has such a pretty color and a herbal sweetness, but the punch from the quinine lingers, just like heartbreak.
You could even crack open the heart and pour the toppings in the middle and around the side. I love the idea of a goth coeur, too, flavored with absinthe and surrounded by rosepetals. The anise would work well with the mild creaminess of the base.
The toppings, by the way, are local meadowfoam honey, brandied cherry and raspberry reduction, and boysenberry puree, and each was tasty, if not exactly candidates for Miss Oregon 2008.