It has been said that the best way to man's heart is through his stomach. Living in a predominantly male household with a husband, three sons and most times a father, I must admit that I have found this saying to be quite true. Whether it's a difficult day at school or some little worry a favourite dish or a homemade treat always seems to improve any situation, if only for a while! Valentine's Day is traditionally a day to celebrate love and affection between companions. However this celebration shouldn't be just limited to 'courting couples' as love is universal and should be celebrated among friends and family alike. Food tends to be the focal point for most occasions and somehow a meal shared is always more enjoyable, so when better to enjoy a meal with a loved one than on Valentine's Day!
This is a recipe for an easy to make dessert that would make the perfect end to a special meal. This Raspberry Fool is utterly delicious and so luscious that it is hard to believe it has merely three ingredients. If you would like to opt for a lighter version, creme fraiche or greek yogurt can replace some of the cream.
Shortbread biscuits make an ample accompaniment to the fool. These can be shop bought or to keep with the Valentine theme my love heart shortbread biscuits would be most suitable.This recipe is based on one of Rachel Allen's recipes. Any leftover fool can be poured into a cling film lined tin and frozen to use as a 'raspberry ice' on another occasion.
250g raspberries, frozen
110g Caster sugar
1. Lay the raspberries out flat on a dish. Sprinkle on the caster sugar and allow this to sit for 1 hour for the sugar to be absorbed.
2. Purée the fruit in a liquidiser or blender. Pass the purée through a sieve to remove the seeds.
3. Gently fold in the whipped cream to the raspberry purée. The Raspberry Fool is now ready to be served or it can be chilled, but it is best used on the day it is made.
110g (4oz) butter
55g (2oz) caster sugar
1/2 teasp vanilla extract
zest of 1/2 an orange-optional
2. Gather the mixture together and knead lightly. Roll out to 7mm (¼ inch) thick. Cut into rounds with a cutter or into heart shapes.
3. Bake in a moderate oven 180C/350F/gas mark 4 to golden or pale brown, 8– 12 minutes- depending on their thickness.
4. Remove and cool on a rack.
This article was published in The Westmeath Independent on 9th Feb 2011.