Forced Rhubarb Fool with Orange and Ginger Biscotti

Frank Bordoni's twice-baked Italian biscuits are a crunchy contrast to the soft, silky textures of poached new season rhubarb and cream custard
By Frank Bordoni
Forced Rhubarb Fool with Orange and Ginger Biscotti
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the biscotti

  • 300 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest

For the fool

  • 450 g forced rhubarb
  • 150 ml orange juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 35 g caster sugar
  • 150 ml single cream
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, seeds only
  • 150 ml double cream


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. To make the biscotti, combine the flour, sugar, ginger, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Rub in the diced butter with fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and orange zest. Use a fork to stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture, working until the ingredients come together to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead lightly for a minute or so.

3. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll each into a cylinder about 30cm long. Lay them on the paper on the baking sheet and flatten with the palm of your hand so that each cylinder is about 1.5cm thick. Bake at the centre of the oven for about 30 minutes or until the dough is well risen, firm and a deep golden colour.

4. Remove the baked dough from the oven and leave to cool for about 15 minutes, leaving the oven on. Use a serrated knife to cut the dough into diagonal slices about 1.5cm thick. Return the biscotti to the baking sheet, placing them cut-side down and close together. Bake for another 20 minutes, until crunchy, then place on a wire rack to cool.

5. Meanwhile, make the fool. Combine the rhubarb and orange juice in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.

6. Combine the egg yolks and half the sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until pale and creamy. Put the single cream, vanilla seeds and remaining sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.

7. Pour the boiling cream mixture onto the yolk mixture, whisking continuously, then pour the custard back into the pan and heat gently. Stir with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens to a coating consistency. Strain into a clean bowl and leave to cool.

8. Lightly whip the double cream and fold it into the custard. Divide the rhubarb among serving glasses and top with the custard cream. Serve with the biscotti.

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