Foolproof Marshmallow Rhubarb Fool

The internet seems undecided on how to make rhubarb fool. Less than a minute of googling throws up loads of results, none of which are quite the same. And, dare I say it, none of which are as tasty (and easy peasy) as this. Some are overly simplified, some ridiculously involved, but none hitting the spot quite as well as this one. You might say it's the Goldilocks porridge of fools.

Foolproof Marshmallow Rhubarb Fool,

This is my Granny's recipe, then given to Mum, and now it is making an appearance here. It has been one of my most extremely favourite puddings since I first had it many moons ago, and I hope it will be one of yours too.

Part of why this is so great is because it's very customisable. Unlike baking, which is much more of a science, this fool is absolutely open to experimentation, which means it will (in theory) suit everyone. As someone with much more of a savoury tooth than a sweet tooth, I like it to be quite tart, but if you are more sweet-toothed then by all means make it sweeter. It's as easy as that. Let's go!

Foolproof Marshmallow Rhubarb Fool, Marshmallow Rhubarb Fool,

Foolproof Rhubarb Fool
serves 8 to 10, depending on portion sizes; vegetarian and gluten-free

4 stalks of rhubarb
200ml whipping cream
approx. 150g marshmallow fluff (about 3/4 of a 213g jar) (slightly stale is best... explanation at the end of the recipe!)
1 lemon, zest & juice
(optional icing sugar for you sweet-toothed sugar junkies)

1. Chop the rhubarb into rough chunks and throw in a big pan (the biggest you've got, to be on the safe side) with the lemon juice and a splash of water, then cover and stew on a low to medium heat until it reduces down into a mush (about 15 minutes). Stir it every now and then to make sure it doesn't weld itself to the bottom. Sidenote: zest the lemon before juicing it, then keep the zest to one side for later. Doing it the other way round is slightly problematic...
2. While your cauldron of rhubarb is bubbling and filling the house with magical smells, get whipping. No, stop dancing; we are going to whip the cream. Add it to a large, cold bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer if you are #blessed enough to have one in your life), and whip with an electric hand whisk or the whisk attachment for that gloriousness that is a stand mixer. (Can you tell I like stand mixers?... One day, Kenwood.) Sidenote: make sure you stop mixing as soon as the cream can hold its shape (i.e. 'stiff peaks') because if you go too far, there's no going back.
3. Add the marshmallow fluff to the rhubarb and stir in until it is all melted together. It may want to separate, so just keep mixing. If you want it sweeter, this is where you can add some icing sugar - best to do it a little bit at a time and taste as you go along until it is where you want it.
4. Gently add the whipped cream once the fluffy rhubarby marshmallowy situation is slightly cooled, and fold until combined. (If you mix too vigorously, you'll lose some of the lightness and airiness of the cream.)
5. Let it cool completely, then transfer to something that won't take up quite so much space in the fridge, cover with clingfilm, and chill until it's time to serve up your masterpiece! I recommend serving it in espresso mugs or tiny, dainty teacups, then topping with the lemon zest and a mint leaf. (we only had big coffee cups and I wanted to pile it high for the sake of the photos, so we just had one to share - anything for the ole blog photography, eh?).

Foolproof Marshmallow Rhubarb Fool,

- Okay, the 'stale' marshmallow fluff. Basically, I made fool using the marshmallow fluff we already had, which had been sitting in the cupboard for eons, but attempted to use half-fat cream since there was no whipping cream to be found. (More on that in a minute..) A few days later, I bought more marshmallow fluff, managed to find some actual whipping cream, and made it again. Upon dolloping the fluff into the rhubarb, it became clear that the old one had been very, very, very old. It was a lot thicker and stickier and generally reluctant to leave its jar, and resulted in a slightly firmer and more set end product. (Old fluff is also even tastier to eat by the spoonful than fresh fluff..)
The solution, therefore, is thus: if you already have an opened jar of fluff, then great, but if not then fear not! It's still amazing and will turn out like the photos. And you could always buy a couple of jars, open them all, then always have a ready supply of gloopy marshmallow fluff for either fool-making or from-the-jar-scoffing.
Also, the reason for using marshmallow fluff rather than plain old marshmallows is simply because fluff is vegetarian, and marshmallows are not, since they contain gelatine. Veggie and vegan marshmallows do exist, but they are disproportionately expensive and tend to contain carrageenan, which is generally best avoided. (I have since bought ingredients for making your own veggie marshmallows though, so look out for that! (And am also experimenting with a vegan version of this fool... Rest assured, it's in the (very tasty) pipeline.))

The cream. You need to use whipping cream. Half-fat cream will whip up very slightly after about ten hours (not quite), but not to the extent that you really want. The reason for this is simple: for cream to whip, it needs to have a fat content of at least 30% (i.e. 30g per 100g). Double cream has a higher fat content than whipping cream, so will also work in a pinch. Don't worry about the fat content because, unbelievably, marshmallow fluff contains zero cholesterol, and almost no fat at all. Which is bonkers. But there you go. (Stacks and stacks of sugar, obviously, otherwise it would be water. In which case you have made watery, creamy stewed rhubarb.)

Foolproof Marshmallow Rhubarb Fool, Marshmallow Rhubarb Fool, Marshmallow Rhubarb Fool,

Foolproof Marshmallow Rhubarb Fool,

You see? It really is easy peasy. You can fiddle around with the quantities of things and also add other stuff (vanilla, coconut, almond, ginger - the list goes oonnnnnnn) and experiment to your heart's content! It really is very easy, and very delicious, and honestly what more could you want? (Rhetorical, you can tell me about your wishlist another time. I am genuinely interested, sarcastic as that may sound.)

Enjoy enjoy enjoy!

P.S. Exciting news coming in the next post - keep an eye out!

P.P.S. I edited the photos in this post slightly differently... Can you tell at all? Is it ~aesthetically pleasing~?

*All photos in this post are mine. If you wish to use any, please ask my permission and credit me!*
As always, all photos are click-to-enlarge.

Foolproof Marshmallow Rhubarb Fool, Marshmallow Rhubarb Fool,


  1. Hi, just to be clear do you add the fluff to the boiling hot pan? Doesn't it all just melt away with the heat? I think it all sounds great but just want to be sure.

    Also, carrageenan is fine - it's seaweed and is 100% natural and is used in lots of ice-creams to aid setting.

    Also, also, don't worry about gelatine. It's really not that bad and is purely a by-product of the meat industry, much like leather for shoes, skirts, belts, seats and so on.

    1. The pan is only on a lowish-mediumish heat, so yep you can add the fluff straight in! It is meant to melt, and it won't evaporate. Different story for the whipped cream though - the mixture should be cooler before adding that in, to prevent it from curdling.

      Jury's out on carrageenan - it is derived from a seaweed, but is by no means 'fine' for sure just yet. It's indigestible and has less than fantastic effects on digestion and intestinal health, and since it's easily avoided I prefer to dodge it where possible. Also, just because it's commonly used does not mean it's a-okay! (e.g. radioactive water and tobacco: both formerly thought to be beneficial for health until the opposite became clear..)

      As for gelatine, the reason I don't eat it is simply because it's not vegetarian. If the animal has to die in order for the food/product to be made, I'd rather find an alternative - and there are plenty of alternatives to choose from!

      Thank you for opening the discussion though; I think it's important to talk about these things. Also, glad you like the sound of the recipe and I hope you make it! Enjoy.

  2. It looks so good!
    Will defiantly give it a try :)
    Izzy |

    1. Please do - it's so easy, and super yum!


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