The Brits are in a bit of a bind at present, but think of all they’ve given us — Shakespeare, the music that shaped my life from the Beatles and the Who to punk, Monty Python, literature from the metaphyical poets to Zadie Smith and my food heroes Jamie Oliver and Nigel Slater. I could go on, but I’m here to talk about pudding. This is the Britishism for dessert, all dessert, whether it’s pudding or pie or cookies, which they call biscuits. It gets confusing. So does politics.
British gastronomy has gotten a bad rap in the past, but the Brits understand comfort food, especially when it comes to sweets. It should be soft and creamy, with maybe a little crispy counterpoint, like Eton Mess, now quite doable as a vegan dessert, thanks to the miracle of aquafaba meringue and coconut cream. Coconut cream brings us to fools. This has nothing to do with Brexit. A fool in the pudding sense is chopped fresh fruit folded into billowing whipped cream. It’s a mousse without the eggs, it’s easy, easily veganized using coconut cream and entirely pleasing. You might even say it’s foolproof (sorry, sorry, sorry). Props to Apt2BBaking’s Yossy Arefi, who did it first and kindly granted permission to use it here here.
From her cookbook Sweeter off the Vine, by Yossy Arefi, TenSpeed Press, 2016.
For April Fool’s Day, no tricks, just treats. Hang in there, Britain. You’re nobody’s fool.