There are several variations on this, depending on how much time you have. If time is short and you need a really fast, yummy dessert, this is the best way to make this treat:
- One pre-made graham cracker pie crust
- One large box of chocolate pudding mix (you can even use the instant one if you're really pushed for time)
- One can of whipped cream
My kids loved this. And it's fast. (Although, if you ask them, they never got the whipped cream.)
If you have more time, you can make the above from scratch, including the pudding and the whipped cream. Or, try this next one...Chocolate Ganache with Orange Cream in a Phyllo Nest.
- One package of phyllo dough (40 sheets of phyllo will make 96 shells)
- Heavy cream (1/3 cup for the filling; 3/4 cup for the topping)
- Bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (4 oz)
- Cream cheese (2 oz)
- Sugar (4 tbsps)
- Flavored extract (1/2 tsp of your choice...peppermint, raspberry, orange, or an assortment)
A little trial and error gave me this method of making the shells...you need to work quickly, so have everything ready to go before you open the packaged phyllo dough sheets. I melted one stick of butter in a small glass bowl. Clean the surface you'll be working on and make sure it's dry. Heat the oven to 400. A 24-slot mini muffin pan works best. Unroll the dough sheets carefully. Peel off 5 sheets to start, cover the remaining stack with the plastic wrap they were rolled in and cover that with damp paper towels. Lay 1 sheet on the work surface and using a pastry brush (flat style, not round), brush the surface of the sheet with butter from the edges in.
Lay the next sheet on top and repeat until all 5 sheets are buttered. Using kitchen shears cut the dough into 12 squares and press into muffin pan. I flipped them over so the last buttered side was down, they seemed to press in easier that way. Repeat until muffin pan is filled and bake for 5 minutes, turn and bake for another 5 minutes. (Watch the first batch to be sure they don't burn.)
To make the filling gently heat 1/3 cup of cream and 4 ozs of chocolate, stirring until chocolate melts. Cool 5 minutes or so until the filling starts to set. Spoon into prepared phyllo shells and let cool.
To make the topping beat the cream cheese and 2 tbsps of the sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Beat remaining 3/4 cup of cream, 2 tbsps of sugar and 1/2 tsp of your choice of extract together in a medium bowl (Yes, my recipes generally call for using every bowl you have!) until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture 1/2 at a time.
Top the chocolate-filled shells with the cream cheese topping.
Additional touches...shaved chocolate, sprigs of mint, petite raspberries, candied orange peel.
I need to make 200 of these for next Friday night's Flavors of Freeport so I'll be fillin' and freezin' all weekend.
Just a note...this is the first time I worked with phyllo dough and I had no idea what I was doing. I looked at the stack of 20 sheets and said, 'Well, what the heck do I do now?' Believe me, the box was no help at all as the directions assume you're making 'something' not just baking shells. So, my take on 5 sheets to make the shells? That's what I did, you can do differently!
I am no longer 'afraid' of phyllo! It was easy to work with albeit it was work. (Unlike the first 'recipe'!)
Again, if you are short on time, you can use pudding as the filling instead of making the ganache.
And here's what they looked like before the crowds arrived Friday night at Flavors of Freeport: