Coeur flottant à la Ritz has probably been served at more famous Ritz dinners than any other dessert. It is a praline-flavored mousse served with a vanilla sauce and decorated with chocolate leaves. We had hundreds of the heart-shaped forms in which it was molded, and these were frozen in ice and salt. It can be frozen, although less successfully, in the freezing unit of an automatic refrigerator.
Coeur Flottant à la Ritz
To make a páte à bombe, combine in the top of a double boiler 5 egg yolks a piece of vanilla bean, and a syrup made by cooking 3 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups water for 7 minutes. Cook over simmering water until the batter becomes lukewarm, beating it with a whip all the time. Remove from the hot water and continue beating it until cool. Remove the vanilla bean. Chill the batter and add 1/2 cup almond praline (see below). Fold in 2 cups cream, whipped, to make the mousse.
Soak a few dice of spongecake in any liqueur and put in the center of a heart-shaped mold or individual molds. Fill with the mousse and place in the freezing unit of the refrigerator.
When ready to serve, invert the mousse on a serving dish and surround with vanilla sauce combined with a few pieces of fruit. Scatter chocolate leaves and trimmings around. The whole dish then may be masked in spun sugar.
Mix equal quantities of blanched almonds and sugar in a very heavy frying pan and add a few drops of vanilla extract. Cook until it becomes well caramelized, stirring all the time. Turn the praline out on a buttered marble slab or into a cold heavy pan to cool. Chop it for garnishing or crush for mixing with ice cream and mousses.