These Rose Raspberry Fool Cream Puffs elevate a quick and easy summer favorite—raspberry fool—to special occasions status.
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Classic summer desserts include an array of easy, refreshing, no-oven-required treats: from ice cream and popsicles, no-bake cakes and ice-box pies, to iconic s’mores. But even in the heart of summer, sometimes a bit of heat is worth it—just think of pies made with the freshest summer fruits, or light-as-air angel food cake enjoyed with the juiciest berries.
Today, I’m sharing a recipe that elevates a quick and easy summer favorite—raspberry fool—to special occasions status. Raspberry fool is an English dessert that dates back to the 17th century. Traditionally, fools combine custard with pureed fruits, but nowadays, most recipes favor using whipped cream over custard. This produces a super light texture and rich taste and makes the dessert much quicker and easier to achieve.
While researching ideas for summer-ready fool recipes recently, it occurred to me the simple fruit and whipped cream combination would make the perfect cream puff filling. Why eat your fool with a spoon when you can serve it in the cutest, fluffiest container?
In the cream puff filling, I combined fresh raspberries with rose water because raspberries and rose are just delightful together. The delicate, flowery flavor of rose water softens the slightly tart flavor of raspberries and complexifies it. This flavor combination is often used in French pastries such as macarons and cakes. Rose water is readily available in most grocery stores now—it is usually located in the cake ingredients aisle.
If you can find them, decorate the assembled rose raspberry fool cream puffs with dried rose petals for an elegant look, or even with fresh, untreated rose petals for a special occasion such as a wedding or a baby shower. Add edible gold flakes for a truly luxurious touch.
Helpful Tips for Making Rose Raspberry Fool Cream Puffs
Find the right consistency: Raspberry fool is a creamy, fairly loose concoction you serve in a bowl or eat with a spoon. The trick with using fool as a cream puff filling is to use just enough pureed fruit to carry through the flavor, yet keep a just-firm-enough texture that won’t burst out of the puff and all over your summer dress as you take your first bite.
Vary the berries: Make these cream puffs, again and again, this summer by varying the berries and flavors you use. You need 1/2 cup (125 ml) fruit puree to fold into the whipped cream, so substitute enough fresh berries to produce this amount and have fun varying the flavors combinations. Here are dreamy duos to inspire you:
Strawberry + Hibiscus
Cherry + Basil
Blackberry + Lavender
Blueberry + Lemon
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For the puffs: In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. When the mixture is boiling, add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Continue to cook and stir the mixture for about 1 minute to eliminate excess moisture. Take off the heat. At this point, the dough comes together in a sticky ball and rolls away from the sides of the pan when stirred.
Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer, or to a large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer, and let cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow the steam to come out. Set the mixer to medium speed, and beat the eggs in one at a time, making sure each egg is well incorporated before adding the next. Also scrape the bowl down between each egg addition. Every time you add an egg, the dough will separate and look curdled, but it will then come back together as you beat it. The dough will keep on getting smoother as you add more eggs. The dough is done when it is smooth and elastic, not dry. It will be very thick and sticky.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and a second one in the upper third. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Bake the puffs for 15 minutes in the preheated 400°F (200°C) oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (175°C), then keep baking until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes more. (A puff should sound hollow if you tap under it with your finger.) Take the baking sheets out of the oven and immediately transfer the puffs to a cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes. (You can freeze the baked puffs at this stage; see instructions below.)
Pour the whipping cream in a large mixing bowl. Beat to soft peaks, then add the sifted powdered sugar. Keep beating until you reach the stiff peak stage.
Scoop 1 tbsp (15 ml) raspberry juice from the raspberry puree, avoiding solids. Set this raspberry juice aside for the glaze.
Add the remaining raspberry puree to the whipped cream, and use a spatula to gently incorporate (fold, do not beat, to make sure the whipped cream stays fluffy.) Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip, or transfer to a large zip lock bag and seal, remove any excess air from the bag before you do.
For the raspberry glaze: Pour 2 tsp (10 ml) of the reserved raspberry juice in a bowl, then add the sifted powdered sugar and sugar to incorporate. You want the glaze to be quite thick, so it holds to the top of the puffs without dripping. If the glaze seems too thick, whisk in a bit more raspberry juice.
To assemble the Rose Raspberry Fool Cream Puffs: Cut off the top third of the puffs horizontally with a serrated knife to create lids. If you transferred the rose raspberry fool filling to a zip lock bag, cut off one corner of the bag. Using either your prepared piping bag, or make-shift zip lock one, generously pipe cream filling into each puff. Using a small spoon, spread some of the glaze over each of the lids. Decorate the wet glaze with rose petals and edible gold flakes, if desired. Let the glaze set for a few minutes, then serve immediately, or refrigerate on a plate (left uncovered) for up to a half-day before serving.
Cream puffs are best enjoyed the day they are assembled. You can keep both the puffs and the filling refrigerated separately for up to a day. Fill the puffs shortly before serving.
FREEZING TIPS: Baked, unfilled puffs can be frozen. Let the puffs cool completely to room temperature--this is important--then transfer to an airtight container. Do not store puffs in a zip lock bag because they are quite delicate, so a container will protect them better. Refrigerate until cold, then transfer to the freezer. The puffs will keep frozen for up to 1 month.
To defrost: Take however many puffs you need out of the freezer and set them on a wire rack to defrost at room temperature for 15 minutes. You can use them straight away, but if you want to return the puffs to their lightly crisp, freshly baked state, preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Place the puffs on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. Fill as desired.
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