Goat's cheese might be one of the go-to classics when on the hunt for a vegetarian starter, but this recipe by Phil Fanning will be unlike anything your guests have tried before thanks to the innovative cheese 'honeycomb'. Pieces of artisan crispbread add to the visual appeal of the dish, while the figs give the recipe a sense of elegance - just remember to prepare them a week in advance to give enough time for the fruit to macerate.
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To macerate the figs, place the figs in a tight-fitting jar with the orange and star anise. Cover with cloudberry liqueur and leave to macerate for 1 week
4 black figs, ripe
5 slices of orange zest
2 star anise
To make the fig and walnut purée, heat the fig purée in a pan until it has reduced by half, then pass through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Whisk in the walnut oil, cloudberry liqueur and aged balsamic vinegar
200g of fig purée
20g of walnut oil
50g of cloudberry liqueur
20g of balsamic vinegar, aged
To make the honeycomb, place the goat's cheese in the bottom a coffee cup or small ramekin lined with greaseproof paper. Microwave on 600W for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is a deep golden colour, then remove and allow to cool. Drain on kitchen paper
50g of goat's cheese, ripe
To make the mousse, beat the goat's cheese with the milk in a food mixer until smooth. Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold through the cheese. Finally, fold in the remaining ingredients and transfer to the fridge to set
50g of goat's cheese
85g of whipping cream
30g of milk
20g of walnut oil
20g of dried figs
20g of fig purée
To serve, smear the goat's cheese mousse on the bottom of the plate. Place two halves of macerated fig onto the mousse and pieces of the goat's cheese honeycomb on top. Add the fig purée, crispbread pieces and wood sorrel leaves
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