Cabécou with Honey and Walnuts


In southwest France, a cabécou (a colloquial word for a baby goat) is a small, round disk of goat cheese—sometimes so small that one cheese makes a perfect single serving. The rounds range from fresh, soft and mild (the best choice for this recipe) to well aged and hard. Feel free to substitute another soft, young goat cheese. Many blue cheeses are also delicious presented this way. If your honey has crystallized, set the open jar in a small pan of water and heat gently until the honey liquefies. The technique for removing the tannin from walnuts comes from Barbara Tropp’s Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking. Adapted from The Cheese Course.

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Four 1-ounce young Cabécou cheeses or other fresh, small goat cheese rounds

Put the walnuts in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a heavy baking sheet with a triple thickness of paper towels. Put the walnuts on the paper towel-lined tray and bake 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 250°F and continue baking until the walnuts taste completely dry inside, about 20 minutes more. Let cool.

Stir the walnuts into the honey. Put one Cabécou on each of 4 small plates. Spoon the walnut-honey mixture over the cheese, dividing it evenly. Serve immediately.

Serves 4