You don't have to be a baker to make beautiful desserts. For something simple that lets the main ingredients shine, try this rhubarb fool with cardamom cream from food blogger and cookbook author Renee Kohlman. Kohlman has been showing people how to make sweet treats with her blog SweetSugarBean.com, and is now sharing more of her favourite recipes with her new book All the Sweet Things.
Rhubarb isn't the only thing you can use for this. Use whatever fruit is in season. Kohlman recommends that you keep the volume of fruit the same as the rhubarb in this recipe, but softer fruits will take less time to cook, so check for doneness after the first 5 minutes.
To make the fool, place the rhubarb in a medium saucepan with the sugar and wine. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and then throw the pod in too. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down the heat to low, simmering away for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft, but still holds it shape. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard it.
To make the cream, in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix together the sugar and ground cardamom on low speed. Pour in the whipping cream. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly beat in the sour cream.
Layer the cooled fruit and cream in pretty glass cups or jars—you want to see the gorgeous layers.
Spoon some fruit in first, then some cream, then more fruit and end with a layer of cream. Cover the fools with plastic wrap and let them chill at least 1 hour before serving.
Garnish with chopped pistachios just before serving.
These will keep, covered with either plastic wrap or their lids if you are using jars, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.