What is….Fool?

This year, Mardi Gras and Carnivale culminated February 12, Fat Tuesday. Holiday celebrations in New Orleans feature the fleur de lis symbol, and lots of gold, green and purple. There’s king cakes and hurricane cocktails to be savored alongside Big Easy staples like gumbo and beignets.

But wouldn’t fool be a great, not to mention aptly named, addition?

Fool is a dessert from the Elizabethan era. The ingredients listed in the linked recipe are whipped cream, nutmeg, sugar and egg yolks. I have to wonder if they meant egg whites, which with a dash of cream of tartar, make meringue.

Anyway, fool as a dessert dates back to 1590-1600; it’s derived from the French “fouler”–to mash, crush up, pulverize. In the original dish, native gooseberries were used. Here in the US, rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are the most popular alternatives.

Since they are a rich plum purple color with deep purple juice, I chose blackberries for my first foray into a Fool.

It’s some effort, but I wouldn’t say it’s ‘a fool’s errand’.

Here are some photos:

Puree

Puree and 1 tablespoon sugar, sauteed. Once it’s a little syrupy, it is removed from the stove. The juice and berries are poured into a strainer so only juice and mashed fruit gets through. The seeds and thicker pulp are discarded. To add more edge to a fool dessert, you can use berry liqueurs of your choosing in the berry sauté.

Cream for Fool

In a separate bowl, mix heavy cream, whipped with a dash of cream of tartar, clear imitation vanilla, and a tablespoon of sugar. Put the bowl in the freezer for about 30 minutes so the cream thickens up.

Fool 3

This is the finished product, layered into a goblet to be refrigerated overnight.

To incorporate New Orleans’ colors, I used kiwi fruit and golden raisins to go with the blackberries’ purple.

Glass, crystal, or acrylic drinkware really show off this dessert’s contrasting colors. If you don’t have fancy stemware or ice cream sundae glasses, small bowls or even beer steins would work.

Fool 1

Laissez le bon temps rouler!

Advertisements

Turquoise Kookys

Turquoise is frequently associated with the American Southwest, Native American art, and silver jewelry. It is also the state gem of Arizona. I was inspired by the turquoise gemstone and I wanted to make kookys that look like it. If you’ve ever seen a turquoise stone, you know its color ranges from  a deep, cool, Pacific ocean-blue, to a warm, Caribbean Sea blue-green.

Below, I’ve posted images of double-chocolate cookies I made over the weekend. There’s dutch process cocoa in the mix, then diced dark chocolate chunks added after the flour was mixed in. I set this aside.

Separately, 1 cup of raw sugar crystals were ground up in a coffee and spice grinder.

image

Then they were poured into a bowl and dyed turquoise with about 6 drops of dye.

image

It takes a whole lot of whisking with a fork to get the color to spread evenly through the dusted sugar.

image

Each scoop of dough, roughly 2 tablespoons, was rolled into a ball. The balls of dough were rolled in the dyed sugar. The fork used to stir the sugar can be used to turn the ball around so it’s evenly coated.

Each ball is then put on parchment paper and baked at 300°F for 18 minutes.

image

During baking, the dough expanded and sugar exterior “crackles” to reveal the chocolaty interior, as intended. Turquoise is a veined stone.

image
image

Some cookies lost some turquoise luster during baking. I brushed them very lightly with melted butter, then re-rolled them, topside down, on a plate of the extra sugar. The sugar will only stick to the raised, moistened areas, and leave the “cracks” brown.

image
image

‘Not bad for a first try on a random idea, huh?

To make this kooky not just look like a gem, but really embody the spiritual qualities associated with turquoise, I think ground lavender could be added in to the recipe. Lavender is very calming, and is already used in tea cookies and other dessert recipes.