What better duo to illustrate the ease of simple-yet-sublime summer desserts than berries and cream? Here, sun-kissed raspberries are enveloped in whipped coconut milk in a modern twist on the traditional British fool. And despite its classification as a vegan dessert, it's every bit as luxurious — and light — as its dairy-filled counterpart.
This dessert comes to us from Yossy Arefi, the creator behind Apt 2B Baking Co. In some ways, it represents a style of baking she has become best known for: It's visually sumptuous, approachable, and highlights a seasonal ingredient in an unexpected way. In the case of this fool, a sprinkle of rose water creates a ripple of elegance, bringing out the floral notes in the raspberries and heightening the overall aroma of the dish.
While turning canned coconut milk into whipped cream is a party trick in its own right (Yossy says: "Don't forget to plan ahead: the coconut milk must be refrigerated at least overnight so the cream can be easily scraped from the top and whipped."), it's the perfectly ripe raspberries that flood this dessert with flavor that makes it so appealing.
Coconut Cream Fool with Raspberries
Serves 6 to 8
(450 grams) raspberries, divided
granulated sugar, divided, plus more as needed
(14-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
Toasted coconut flakes, for serving (optional)
Place 2 cups of the berries, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and rose water in a medium bowl and gently mash. Taste and adjust the sweetness by adding a bit more sugar as needed. Refrigerate while you whip the coconut cream.
Flip the cold cans of coconut milk upside down, open the cans, and pour the coconut liquid into a storage container (save it for smoothies!). There should be a thick layer of coconut cream on the bottom of each can. Scoop the chilled cream from the cans into the chilled bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or use a large bowl and electric hand mixer.
Whip on medium-high speed until the cream thickens into medium-stiff peaks. Whip in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and extracts. Fold the berry mixture into the whipped coconut cream by hand with a rubber spatula until just combined.
To serve, layer the fool with the remaining cup of fresh berries in clear glass dishes. Top with coconut flakes, if using, and serve immediately.
Seasonal variations: You can use just about any fresh berries to make a fool; blackberries with a bit of lime zest or fresh currants are favorites. Spiced rhubarb compote is also nice in the spring before berry season starts.
Dairy variation: For a dairy version, substitute 2 cups heavy cream for the coconut milk.
Storage: Leftover fool can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Make ahead: The coconut cream can be whipped and stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.
Reprinted with permission from Sweeter Off the Vine: Fruit Desserts for Every Season by Yossy Arefi, copyright (c) 2016 by published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.