This month's Sugar High Friday (dreamed up by The Domestic Goddess) is being hosted by Nic at The Baking Sheet and the theme is honey. Coincidentally I'd just bought the ingredients for one of my all time favorite desserts: Greek yogurt, figs and walnuts drizzled with honey. Simple, fresh and so damned good, it would be easy to submit this timeless no-cook, no-effort dish but it feels like cheating. So instead I present Goat Cheese Mousse with a Compote of Figs and Oranges in a Honey-Muscatel Sauce.
6 ounces mild goat cheese
1 tablespoon orange blossom honey
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon fresh orange juice
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Let the cheese sit at room temperature for about an hour.
Grate enough peel from an orange to make 1 teaspoon and then halve and squeeze the juice from it (set aside all but one teaspoon of the juice for later).
Add the honey, orange peel and orange juice to the cheese and beat on low speed until well blended.
Whip the cream in a separate bowl and then fold into the cheese mix.
Cover entire surface of mousse with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours or until ready to serve.
12 oz muscatel
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
4 fresh figs, cut into quarters
One orange, peeled, seeded and split into sections*
Combine the muscatel, honey and orange juice and reduce to 1/2 cup in a non-reactive pot. Add a few fresh orange zest strips, if desired. Chill.
Gently toss the figs and orange sections together in a bowl with 1 or 2 tablespoons of the warm sauce, cover and refrigerate ready to serve.
*It's a labor of love, but I like to cut each orange section in half and then carefully remove as much of the membrane as possible.
Mound the mousse into the center of 4 shallow bowls, arrange the oranges and figs around the mousse and then pool the muscatel sauce around the plate.
I had leftover mousse and muscatel sauce the next day AND strawberries needing attention, so I baked a puff pastry shell, spread the bottom with the mousse and topped it with berries I'd let sit in the muscatel sauce. And you know what? This tossed-together dessert was FABULOUS. Much better than my carefully planned one. Oh well!