Phyllo-Wrapped Chocolate, Walnuts, and Coconut

This is one of those recipes that seems like a win-win-win (yes, the third win was necessary) situation – puff pastry wrapped chocolate with walnuts and coconut. It’s stupidly easy to assemble and makes a great impression on guests. But if we’re talking perfection, it falls slightly short. It’s simply too dry and leaves you reaching for a glass of water to wash away all the bits of pastry, chocolate, walnut, and coconut stuck in your mouth. That may be fun if it was peanut butter, but not so much with this dessert. Just like baklava has its syrup marrying the phyllo and walnuts together, this dessert needs its glue too.

For now, just keep a glass of water handy.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely ground in a food processor
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup shelled salted pistachio nuts or walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • 6 sheets phyllo dough (12 by 17 inches each), thawed if frozen
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat cream with cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to simmer. Stir into chocolate to melt. Finely chop 3 tablespoons nuts; set aside. Stir remaining nuts and coconut (if using) into chocolate. Spoon chocolate into a resealable plastic bag; cut 1 inch off one corner.
  2. Lay 1 sheet phyllo on a work surface (cover remaining sheets with a damp kitchen towel). Lightly brush surface with melted butter; lay another sheet on top, and brush with more melted butter.
  3. Immediately pipe chocolate along a short side of phyllo, 11/2 inches from edges.Tightly roll into a log, lightly brushing with butter at each turn and tucking in ends. Brush log with butter; cover with a damp kitchen towel. Repeat process to make 2 more logs.
  4. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; bake 15 minutes. Rotate sheet; brush logs with butter. Sprinkle with reserved nuts. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes more. Let cool completely; dust with sugar. Cutting in a swift motion, divide each log into 8 pieces.
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