This is amazing!! I adapted it from Nigella’s recipe based on traditional dairy cream, which isn’t tolerated well by many people. I’ve been working for some time on a dairy-free version of cream and now I think I’ve cracked it – the result has that lovely “mouth-feel” and thickness you get from whipped cream and it’s really good for you too. The straining of the rhubarb and boiling down of the liquid to a syrup means that when you eventually fold everything – rhubarb, cream, syrupy juice – together, you can get a lovely swirled effect. Use the rosiest, pinkest rhubarb you can find. I couldn’t get pink rhubarb so I got a pink colour by using the juice and puree from a cupful of thawed freezer raspberries instead. You can alternatively use about 20-35 drops of cochineal*, a natural pink food colouring, to achieve the desired effect in the rhubarb and also in its syrup or not bother with either the cochineal or the raspberries…
You can also see my “quick dairy-free rhubarb fool” recipe for a simplified version.
1 kg rhubarb, trimmed and coarsley sliced
4 heaped tbs xylitol*
2 teasp vanilla extract*
Optional: 1 cup frozen raspberries thawed in a sieve over a bowl to catch the juice (if the rhubarb you have got is not the pink stuff then this helps you achieve that gorgeous pink colour but you don’t have to bother) OR about 30 drops of cochineal*
400g tub Coyo plain coconut yoghurt*
400g tub natural unflavoured soya yoghurt*
Optional: 4 sprigs of mint to decorate
*Check out my “larder & shopping” section for where to buy all unusual ingredients
- Preheat the oven to 190C. Mix the rhubarb and the xylitol together in an ovenproof dish. Don’t add water. Cover with foil or a tight fitting lid and bake for 45-60 minutes until the fruit is completely soft.
- Meanwhile, if using raspberries for that lovely pink colour, set aside and keep any raspberry juice that has drained through the sieve. Then puree the berries by pushing through the sieve with the back of a spoon. Discard the seedy pulp and reserve the puree.
- Drain the rhubarb in a sieve, reserving the juice. Pour the rhubarb into a liquidiser or food processor (or beat with a wooden spoon for a more rustic texture). Add the raspberry puree if using, 1 tsp vanilla extract and process or beat until smooth, adding more xylitol if needed. Chill this mixture. Put a large bowl (for whipping your Coyo and soya yoghurt) in the fridge as you get a better effect if everything is very cold.
- Pour the reserved juice from rhubarb and the raspberries (if using) into a saucepan. Heat and let bubble away until reduced by about half. Pour into a jug and leave to cool. Don’t refrigerate in case the juice crystallises and loses its lovely pink clarity. You should now have: a pink coloured rhubarb puree and a small jug of thickened cooled syrupy juice.
- Now empty the 400g tub of Coyo, 8 rounded tbs of natural soya yoghurt and 1 tsp vanilla extract into the chilled bowl. Whisk until it’s well mixed and lump-free. Carefully fold in the rhubarb puree, then some of the reduced juice, so the mixture is streaked and marbled. Pile into 4 glasses and, if you have some mint, place a sprig on each. Refrigerate until needed.
Why this recipe is good for you
Using xylitol instead of sugar means you are not releasing vast amounts of sugar into your bloodstream by eating this dessert. Xylitol is safe for diabetics for this reason. Amazingly, sugar is much more harmful for your heart then cream. It is not cholesterol per se, but the oxidisation of cholesterol, that damages arteries. Sugar increases oxidation, ageing and inflammation. So if you want a healthy heart, reducing sugar is a major key. We now eat much less saturated fat than 50 years ago and yet heart disease has skyrocketted. Sugar also depletes the B vitamins. B vitamins folic acid, B6 and B12 are needed to keep artery-damaging homocysteine at low levels. See “larder & shopping” for details.