Goat Cheese Cream with Spiked Figs and Caramelized Almonds
Sometimes we just want to go crazy and do some out of this world dessert. This is one of those. I read it from this wonderful blog from Tia Alia who is a wonderful chef. I really liked the idea and went for it. I did it first exactly as she suggested but then I wondered how would this great dessert would taste like by using a herbal liquor. The one I choose was Saint Germain which has a very distinctive flavor. I liked the second one best and this is the one I am sharing with you.
We had our very good friends (actually one of the few friends I have..) for dinner because they are not only a delight to spend time with but they also enjoy good food. Mr. C is one of my favorite guests because he always like my cooking. Mrs. B likes it too but he takes the ovation. Actually this time around the one who claims to be my son came with his better half (late!!!!) so the whole dinner was a delight. The Big Head is chatty as they come and his better half (the one who can not be named) is chatty as well but picky eater -I tell you-. The current wife, the lucky one, was in charge of the entertainment (that is chat and chat and more chat) which is her forte. Was great.
The menu was Italian so the whole experience was fantastic. We had a great time and as usual we had no leftovers. Try this dessert and you won't regret it.
Cooking Time: 60 Minutes Makes 4 servings
For the Goat Cheese Cream
100 g Whipping Cream -cold-
150 g Glazing suggar
150 g Goat cheese
40 g Amaretto liquor
40 g Milk -cold-
4 g Gelatin Sheets *
For the Spiked Figs
4 Dried Figs
200 g Water
50 g Honey
4 g Cumin (freshly powdered)
4 g Clove (freshly powdered)
1/2 Cup of Saint Germain liquor
For Crocanti (candied) Almonds
40 g Whole almonds
20 g White Sugar
Goat Cheese Cream
- Using the COLD whipping cream we are going to whip it until stiff peaks (you can turn upside down the bowl and wont fall!). Reserve
- In a different bowl mix the goat cheese (without the outer layer), the glazing sugar and the Amaretto. Reserve
- In a third bowl we hydrate the gelatin sheets (* why I did not use just plain gelatin?..because gelatin sheets will produce a more “clear” natural color than other forms of gelatin) for about 15 minutes. After this time, we warm up the milk (microwave is OK) , drain the water from the gelatin sheets and we mix the gelatin with the warm milk.
- Add one tablespoon of the cream cheese mix to our gelatin/milk mix until incorporated. We keep doing this until there is no more cream cheese mix left.
- Right after that we incorporate the whipped (and cold) cream, FOLDING it carefully so it doesn’t go flat on us. Put it back in the fridge until you are ready to serve dessert.
- In a small pot (small enough just to fit the ingredients..not bigger than that) we warm up the water, honey, the cumin, cloves and figs and we warm them up until boiling point, then we lower the heat to simmer and leave them simmering for 15 minutes.
- We turn off the heat and allow the figs to hydrate for about 2 hours. After that we remove the figs add the Saint Germain, mix and cover with plastic film. DO NOT DISCARD THE LEFTOVER SYRUP.
- We use a fine strainer and put though the syrup from the small pot, then we bring it back to the pot and on lower temperature we simmer until we get a thicker syrup. Allow it's to cool and incorporate to the figs/Saint Germain mix and cover again with the plastic film.
Crocanti Almonds (candied)
- In a large pan and medium heat we toast the almonds until lightly brown (don’t let hem turn black or they will get bitter). Once they are light brown we sprinkle the sugar and using a wooden spoon we turn them often until they are 100% covered (candied). Immediately after we transfer them to a metal cookie tray with parchment paper and we separate them using the wooden spoon. Allow them to cool and put them in a dry environment (I put them inside a glass jar).
Putting it all together.
- Using your glass desserts we distribute the goat cheese mix trying not to get the cream on the glass walls (of course you can clean them after for presentation), we put the fig on top and pour the Saint Germain/syrup mix. On top put some candied almonds and serve immediately