Strawberries and goat cheese are a natural pair, but add balsamic vinegar and you're close to perfection! The flavor of the strawberry is simply magnified by the tangy taste of the vinegar.
This recipe has been a summer time favorite for as long as I can recall. My mother taught me how to make goat cheese Chantilly, paired with smooth balsamic caramel. I think adding them to a strawberry carpaccio is an elegant yet simple dish that is sure to please guests while keeping the prep work to a minimum. Sweet, savory and tangy, this dish works as an appetizer on a big sharing plate (or on bruschetta!) or as a dessert.
It's important to remember that the balsamic caramel is the star of the show so you'll need to choose a young creamy goat cheese that won't overpower the other flavors. —Bee @ deuxdilettantes
ripe fresh strawberries cleaned
young soft goat cheese (with a mild flavor)
Hull and finely slice the strawberries. Arrange them in a layered, circular pattern on a large plate or four smaller ones (for individual portions). Keep cool in the fridge while preparing the rest.
Make the caramel by bringing the balsamic vinegar and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Once the mixture is boiling, turn down the heat and let it reduce on a light simmer until it coats the spoon like a thick syrup (about 10 to 15 minutes). Don't overcook it or it will get too hard. If that's the case, you can still save it by adding a little bit of water (1 teaspoon at a time) to the slightly warm caramel.
To make the Chantilly, beat whipping cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. In another bowl, whip the goat cheese until it softens and then gently fold it into the whipped cream.
Put it all together by adding a generous dollop of the Chantilly to the center of the arranged strawberries -- or squeeze it from a pastry bag to make it more decorative. Finally, drizzle the balsamic caramel on top and enjoy immediately!
A few notes on the recipe: You are in charge of the timing! Don't hesitate to make the Chantilly and caramel ahead, as long as you assemble everything at the last minute.
You can keep the caramel in an airtight container for few weeks in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge a couple of hours before using.