A "fool" is a light, fluffy, dessert, usually made with fruit and a little booze. It is incredibly easy to make, and is the perfect little treat after a heavy meal when you don't think you have any room for dessert. I am planning to make a rather savory dinner for the family this Valentine's Day, and I don't want to bombard the kids with chocolate before bed (they'd never fall asleep!) Strawberries, vanilla, and roses (instead of alcohol) are a beautiful combination which will win you lots of hugs and kisses. You can whip this up and serve right away, or pop in the fridge to chill for up to 24 hours.
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Pinch fine kosher salt
1/2 vanilla bean
3 tablespoons rose water
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
4 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fixed with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl with a sturdy hand mixer), beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and salt together on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Turn off the mixer.
2. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using a knife, gently scrape the inside of each half to remove the seeds. Add the seeds to the bowl and seal the pod in a plastic bag for later use.
3. Add the rosewater. Turn the mixer back on to medium high and beat until the vanilla and rosewater is fully incorporated, about 2 minutes.
4. Continue to beat while you slowly pour in the heavy cream. Beat until the cream thickens and the fool is fluffy, about 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer and remove the whisk attachment.
5. Add the strawberries to the mixing bowl. Fix the mixer with the paddle attachment and mix in the strawberries on medium until the fool turns a little pink but you still have nice chunks of strawberries throughout, about 1 minute.
6. Spoon into individual dessert dishes and serve immediately. Or cover the mixing bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap and press down to seal in and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours.