Star Anise Yogurt Mousse with Fig Compote

I’m gonna keep this post short and sweet (pun not altogether intended). The combination of flavors is one I picked up from my grandmother early on. 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!

GPSA06 DSC 0708 Star Anise Yogurt Mousse with Fig Compote

Photography by Sarka Babicka

Star Anise Yogurt Mousse with Fig Compote

  • 100g/3 1/2 oz fresh or soft dried figs, thinly sliced
  • 100g/ 3 1/2 oz sugar
  • 125ml/4 fl oz/1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 500ml/17 fl oz/2 cups Greek-yogurt
  • 300ml/ 10 1/2 fl oz/ 1 1/4 cups + 1 tbsp double cream
  • 50g/1 3/4 oz sugar
  • 7 star anise
  • 4 fine leaf gelatine sheets
  • 1 tbsp pistachios, finely chopped for garnish


  1. Place a heavy-based sauce pan over medium heat, add the figs, sugar, water, lemon juice, mix well and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer till just set and still slightly runny, about 15-20 minutes. To test, remove a tsp of the mixture and transfer to a plate, allow to cool for a minute to confirm it’s the right texture.
  2. Break the star anise in half, add to the double cream, mix in only to combine and allow to infuse for at least 4 hours or overnight. Strain the double cream into a mixing bowl, discard the star anise pods, add sugar to the infused cream and using a whisk, whip the double cream till it reaches whipped cream consistency with soft peaks.
  3. Add 3 tbsp cold water to a small mixing bowl and cut each leaf of gelatin into small pieces then leave to soak for 10 minutes. Create a double broiler, by heating about 500ml/ 17 fl oz/ 2 cups water in a kettle, then pour the hot water into a bowl, and secure the bowl in which the soaked gelatin is in so that the water skims the bottom. The heat from water will help melt the gelatin as you whisk constantly. Once the gelatin has melted, discard the water and to the same bowl add the yogurt and transfer the gelatin mixture to the yogurt. Stir well and then gently fold in the whipped cream and combine till smooth with not lumps.
  4. To assemble, add 2 tsp of compote to the bottom of (6) 1.5 dcl dessert bowls then divide the mousse mixture evenly across the molds. Cover and set aside in the fridge overnight. Fold the whipped cream into yogurt, using metal spoon. Garnish with pistachios just before serving.
  5. Prepare ahead note: can be prepared and assembled up to 2 nights before the event.


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10 Responses to “Star Anise Yogurt Mousse with Fig Compote”
  1. Chris'Dirty' Bourne 9 August 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Always pushing the envelope.Lovin’ the colour contrast too!

  2. Angela 10 August 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    This looks like a delicious melange of ingredients and a great idea for the fresh figs that are coming into season in Provence! Merci and I’ll be reporting back on its success!

  3. tasteofbeirut 10 August 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Brilliant idea! Love the photo styling too!

  4. Sally - My Custard Pie 11 August 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Really interesting combination. Aniseed is not a flavour I use very often, but I’m intrigued by this. Lovely pic too.

  5. Linda 13 August 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    I want to try this, but I’m a novice and don’t know what leaf gelatin is

  6. Bethany 13 August 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Hi Linda. Leaf gelatine are small, transparent sheets of gelatine which are more commonly used in Europe and considered to deliver a clearer and more refined finish than powdered gelatine. You can use it interchangeably with powdered gelatine, roughly 3 tsp of powdered gelatine (8g/1 sachet) is the equivalent of 4 gelatine leaves.

  7. Bethany 13 August 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    Please follow package instructions when in doubt.

  8. Krista 14 August 2012 at 12:48 am #

    Oh wow, this looks SO good, Bethany. 🙂 I just bought Star Anise last week and have been saving it, wondering what to do with it. Now I know. 🙂 Delicious!!

  9. callie grayson 19 August 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    mmmm, this looks so good!

  10. sneige 3 January 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    What a simple and striking dessert! On my to do this for this year!
    Happy New Year btw, may it be a great and unforgettable one!

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