As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve recently fallen in love with filo pastry and all the wonderful deliciousness that comes with it. After making my filo and prosciutto wrapped asparagus the other week, I had some left over. My first thought was, “I don’t want to just throw this away”. My second thought was, “I want to put chocolate inside this!”. So, I did. And the following is what emerged:
Chocolate Filo Berry Pockets
8 Sheets Filo Pastry, defrosted in the fridge over night.
1/2 C Butter, melted.
1 C Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate Chips.
1/2 C Cream Cheese, near room temperature.
1/2 C Hazelnuts, finely chopped.
1 C Fresh Mixed Berries, (frozen can work too – just have to thaw them out before hand and drain the liquid from them before using) – I used blackberries, raspberries, blueberries & strawberries.
1/2 Tsp. Local Honey.
1 Lemon, for zest & juice.
Splash of Orange Liquor (i.e. Cointreau, Triple Sec, Grand Marnier).
1 C Balsamic Vinegar.
1 Tbsp. White Sugar.
1/2 C Creme Fraiche.
Fresh Berries & Orange Slices for Garnish.
1/2 C Confectioner’s Sugar for Dusting.
8 Fresh Sprigs of Mint.
What to Do:
First, make the berry compote. Dump the berries, honey, orange liquor & lemon zest and juice of half the lemon in a food processor. Pulse until well mixed and “jam” like. Set aside.
Now, mix the hazelnuts into the cream cheese until well blended.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Next, get your filo ready. You can see directions about working with the filo here. Once it’s ready to go, lay one piece of filo out in front of you. Baste it with butter and near the left side edge, layer a Tbsp each of chocolate, compote, and cheese.
Slowly (and very carefully) roll the bottom left corner of the filo up to meet the top edge.
Now, fold the left corner tip in over the mixture like you are folding a flag. Continue folding back and forth, making your way down the filo and ensuring you are keeping the “pocket” of stuffing relatively tight. Be gentle or you will puncture the filo! Don’t worry about making them uniformly perfect – each one should have it’s own shape. It gives the dessert character. Baste well with butter once rolled and lay on the parchment lined baking sheet.
*To make the casing stronger, baste as mentioned above and then layer another filo sheet on top & baste again. You will have to account for this in the number of filo sheets you have*.
Pop em in the oven until they are crispy and golden brown – about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make your balsamic reduction. It’s very easy and really makes for a presentation and flavor punch! Pour vinegar into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, add sugar, and then reduce heat to a medium/low simmer, stirring occasionally. In the next 8 minutes or so, the liquid should reduce to about 1/3 to half a cup – all the water evaporates, leaving a medium to thick syrup. Remove from heat. The reduction will continue to thicken as it cools. If it’s too thick, simply add a couple Tbsp of water, reheat, over low heat, and serve.
To plate, spoon about a Tbsp of the left over berry compote in the center of the dish. Put the filo pocket on top.
Take a Teaspoon and gather a decent size spoonful of creme fraiche. Using two spoons, turn the creme fraiche back and forth between them, creating a little “triangle” of cream. Alternatively, just dollop the stuff on the plate. The triangular spooning just makes it look pretty.
Carefully place a few berries, an orange slice or two, and a mint sprig on or around the creme fraiche.
Drizzle some of the balsamic reduction around two outer edges of the plate and dust very lightly with some of the confectioners sugar.