The simple, light, orange-infused ricotta mousse can be made ahead of time, and caramelizing the figs only takes about 15 minutes. When adding the balsamic vinegar to the syrup — be careful! — I suggest having the pan's lid handy to avoid any splatter.
Once the mousse is topped with warm balsamic caramel and sweet figs, it's the perfect dessert to finish a Fall dinner. If you are short on time and can't make the smooth creamy ricotta mousse, the caramelized figs would be equally tasty served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. To get started caramelizing your own figs, keep reading.
15 ounces fresh ricotta
8 ounces mascarpone
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
9 ripe figs, halved
- Push ricotta through a fine sieve over a bowl, add mascarpone, orange zest and stir gently to combine.
- Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, then gradually add 3/4 cup of sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form and mixture is thick and glossy. Using a large metal spoon, stir one-third of egg whites into ricotta mixture, then gently fold in remaining egg whites until just combined. Spoon ricotta mousse among six small glasses. Refrigerate while preparing figs.
- Place remaining sugar and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Boil, without stirring, until mixture turns a deep golden. Remove from heat and immediately stir in balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon water, taking care as mixture will spit violently.
- Return pan to heat and stir until mixture is smooth. Add figs, one at a time, to caramel mixture and turn to coat, then divide among glasses. Spoon remaining caramel over figs and serve immediately.
- Desserts, Puddings/Mousse