Recipe: Cherry fool with vanilla shortbread

By Grant Allen

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Cheery fool desert. Photo / Doug Sherring
Cheery fool desert. Photo / Doug Sherring

A fool is generally one third yoghurt, one third whipped cream and one third poached fruit. Serve in coupe glasses (fashionable in the late 70s). The shortbread gives the crunch factor.

Serves 6

For the shortbread

• 900g plain flour
• 300g castor sugar
• 600g soft unsalted butter
• 1½ vanilla pod seeds scraped out

1. Put all the ingredients into a kitchen mixer and gently knead using the paddle attachment. Once just combined, take out of the mixer and place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper about 60cm long by 30cm wide. Take another sheet of parchment paper and place on top and roll the dough out to 1½ cm thick. Try and get it to the edges as it will be a more efficient way to cut out the biscuits. Place in the fridge to cool completely.

2. Once cold, using a sharp knife, cut the shortbread into credit-card-size rectangles.

Place on a parchment-lined baking tray and set the biscuits 1cm apart to allow for expansion while cooking.

3. Cook at 180C for about eight minutes or until light golden brown. Take out of the oven.

Immediately sprinkle with castor sugar and leave to cool. Store in an airtight container until needed. You'll have more than you need, but what's the harm?

For the poached cherries

• 500g fresh cherries (save one fresh cherry per portion to use as garnish)
• 150g castor sugar
• 150g water

Cut cherries in half, remove stones. Put in a pot with sugar and water and simmer until just cooked, leave to cool. This will make more than enough, just put the extra in a covered container in the fridge to have with granola or whatever. It will keep for about a week or so.

• 250ml cream, whip to soft peaks
• 250ml yoghurt (we use De Winkel)
• 250g of poached cherries

Put the cream and yoghurt into a bowl and combine with a spatula. Now for the tricky bit, put the poached cherries in the mix and gently fold in to make a ripple effect. Now carefully spoon into the glasses, using a reserved fresh cherry to top it off. Serve with a shortbread biscuit on the side.

- Herald on Sunday

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