Goat Cheese Mousse with Red-Wine Caramel

This crostini from Karen Small at the Flying Fig in Cleveland, topped with goat cheese mousse, red-wine caramel and strawberry compote, is a delightful example of a dish that combines sweet and savory. Each component can be used in a variety of sweet and savory ways: The caramel, for instance, is great drizzled over pecorino cheese or vanilla ice cream.

Slideshow: More Desserts with Wine

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  • Servings: 4


  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup ruby port
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 thyme sprigs plus 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups strawberries, hulled (2 pints)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • One 11-ounce log of fresh goat cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • Crostini and toasted walnuts, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a saucepan, bring the wine, port, black peppercorns, shallot, thyme sprigs and 1 cup of the sugar to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Using a moistened pastry brush, wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Cook over moderate heat, without stirring, until syrupy and reduced to 1 cup, about 35 minutes. Strain and discard the solids. Let the caramel cool slightly.

  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, toss the strawberries, orange zest, water and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and let stand until juicy, about 30 minutes.

  3. Bring the strawberries to a boil and simmer over moderate heat until slightly thickened and jammy, about 15 minutes. Transfer the compote to a bowl and let cool.

  4. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the goat cheese, cream, ground pepper and chopped thyme until creamy. Spoon the mousse into a bowl and serve with the compote, caramel, crostini and walnuts so guests can assemble their own.

Make Ahead

The caramel, strawberries and mousse can be refrigerated separately for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.


The Flying Fig, 2523 Market Ave., Cleveland; 216-241-4243.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published April 2008

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