Fool is a traditional British dessert made from whipped cream folded with sweetened berries, and it’s possibly the easiest dessert ever, with the exception of a raw piece of fruit eaten out of hand. This riff on a classic fool uses whipped coconut cream in place of the dairy cream for a vegan treat that is equal parts light and luxurious. This dessert is best prepared and served immediately. 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; put the bowl of your stand mixer in the freezer as well. For a dairy version, substitute 2 cups (480 milliliters) of heavy cream for the coconut milk.
Note on seasonal variations: You can use just about any fresh berries to make a fool—blackberries with a bit of lime zest or currants are favorites.
- Gently mash two cups of the berries with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the rose water in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust the sweetness by adding a bit more sugar as necessary. Chill while you whip the coconut cream.
- Turn 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 a large bowl and whip on medium-high until the cream thickens into medium stiff peaks. Whip in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and the vanilla and almond extracts. Fold the berry mixture into the whipped coconut cream until just combined.
- To serve: Layer the fool with the remaining cup of fresh berries in clear glass dishes. Top with coconut flakes, if desired, and serve immediately.
Excerpted from “Sweeter Off the Vine: Fruit Desserts for Every Season.” Copyright © 2016 by Yossy Arefi. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photograph copyright © 2016 by Yossy Arefi.