Star Anise Yogurt Mousse with Fig Compote
I'm gonna keep this post short and sweet (pun not altogether intended). I picked up the combination of flavors for this recipe early on from my grandmother. She loved infusing her fig jam with aniseed or "yansoun" as it's called in Arabic. Here, I chose to infuse the yogurt mousse rather than the fig jam and included star anise; the effect is much the same. I don’t think any description can do this understated dessert justice, you’ll just have to try it to truly appreciate it. Duh!
- 100g/31/2oz fresh or soft dried figs, thinly sliced
- 200g/57/10oz caster sugar
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- 7 star anise
- 300ml/101/2fl oz/11/4 cups double cream
- 4 sheets of leaf gelatine
- 500ml/17fl oz/2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt (preferably Total Fage or home-made labneh)
- 1 tbsp pistachios, finely chopped
- Break the star anise in half and add to the double cream, mixing to combine (they’ll float). Leave to infuse for at least 4 hours or overnight before discarding the star anise, or strain the infused cream through a muslin or a fine sieve into a mixing bowl. Add 150g/44/6oz sugar and then whip the infused cream until it forms soft peaks.
- Put the figs, the rest of the sugar, lemon juice and 125ml/4fl oz/1/2 cup water in a heavy-based saucepan, mix well and bring just to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15–20 minutes until the compote is just set but still slightly runny. To test, put a teaspoon of the mixture on a plate and leave to cool for a minute to confirm it is the right texture.
- Put 3 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl, add the gelatine and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
- Pour some boiling water into a small mixing bowl and set the bowl containing the gelatine on top so that just the bottom of the gelatine bowl sits in the hot water. Whisk constantly until the gelatine melts, then remove the bowl from the water bath, add the infused yogurt and stir well. Gently fold in the whipped cream and combine until completely smooth.
- Scoop 2 teaspoons of the compote in a dessert bowl (you should have enough for 6), then divide the mousse mixture evenly between the bowls. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- To serve, fold the whipped cream into the yogurt, using a metal spoon. Sprinkle over the pistachios just before serving.