If there was any silver lining at all for me to find in the ongoing quarantine happening around Massachusetts right now- it’s that I’ve been able to cook and bake a little more often using ingredients I may have otherwise overlooked in my kitchen since I’m spending a considerable amount of time in my apartment. That is, of course- when I’m not bringing supplies to my mother’s house or practicing social distancing with hikes and photography sessions around abandoned properties near where I live.
I recently had a craving for something sweet- and much to my delight- had all the tools necessary to whip up a quick and easy chocolate raspberry fool (layered mousse and fruit.) If you don’t have fresh fruit readily available- and I know it can be tricky to find since so many stores are getting wiped out as of late- fruit preserves of your liking that are stored in a jar work just as well!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 12 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries
- ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- Pinch of cinnamon
- ½ vanilla bean, scraped (or 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM
- 1¾ cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Fresh raspberries, as needed for serving
- Chocolate shavings, as needed for serving
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
1. MAKE THE RASPBERRY SWIRL: Place the raspberries in a medium saucepan. In a small bowl, whisk ¼ cup of the sugar with the salt, cinnamon and vanilla bean scrapings to combine (if using vanilla extract, add at the end of step 3.)
2. Add the sugar mixture to the raspberries and stir to combine. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries break down completely, 6 to 8 minutes.
3. In the small bowl you mixed the sugar in, whisk the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the cornstarch. Add to the raspberry mixture, whisking to incorporate. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens noticeably. Set aside to cool.
4. MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, sugar, salt and vanilla on medium-high speed until the mixture reaches soft peaks. Melt the chocolate until it is fluid (you can also do this in a microwave in 15-second intervals or in a bowl fitted over a saucepan of simmering water).
5. Begin whipping the cream again on medium-low speed, and add the chocolate in a slow, steady stream. Mix just until combined. The mixture should still appear soft and smooth, like whipped cream. If it begins to solidify or firm up, fold in the remaining chocolate by hand.
6. Spoon the whipped cream into four to six serving glasses, using about a third of it. Spoon the raspberry filling on top, using about half of it. Add another layer of whipped cream, using another third of the mixture, then top with the remaining raspberry filling. Finish with the remaining whipped cream.
7. Garnish with fresh raspberries and chocolate shavings, if desired. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
These are so delightfully decadent- but they don’t make me feel heavy or weighed down the way some cakes or pies do after I eat a slice. It’s a light, fluffy and fruity dessert alternative that doesn’t take long at all to make and tastes delicious.
I’m hoping that when social distancing becomes a thing of the past and we can once again have parties and get togethers with our friends and loves ones- I’ll be able to have people over and make a batch of these to celebrate.