Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sweet Saturday: Dark Chocolate Pastries with Dried Fruit and Nuts

I was rummaging around in my little green kitchen's pantry (really just an IKEA piece with a butcher block counter and two big cupboards) to see what sort of hidden gems are lingering.  I'm guilty of buying groceries and sort of tossing them in, not really placing them nicely.  I know.  I can be lazy.  But the good thing is once in awhile when I'm looking for something specific I'll find something accidental, and that's when the magic happens.  So I was looking specifically for cans of crushed tomatoes, and I accidentally found this block of gorgeous Green &Black's dark chocolate.  I adore Green & Black's. It's organic and fair trade, and you can get it at London Drugs.  (Try the bars with candied ginger and orange spice bits too.)  But back to this bar of dark.   I never did find the tomatoes, but there was also a small package of dried cranberries and I always have some almonds somewhere, and I thought hmmmmm.  What shall this be?  Looked in the fridge and there was still some phyllo pastry left from my Oscar Appetizers.  I could have just been boring and eaten the chocolate like that, but I wanted a little drama with my chocolate, so I thought, why not wrap this whole concoction in phyllo and see what happens?  

Glory be!  The layers were buttery and the chocolate oozy and warm, perfect with the tang of the cranberries and the crunch of the nuts.  Next time I would use more nuts, and I think I'll specifically buy dried cherries just for this.  Dried cran are ok, but dried cherries are on a whole other level of deliciousness.  I might switch up the nuts too - pecans would be perfect. With toffee chips! The whole deal took about 35 minutes start to finish.  Seriously.  This is some quick pastry makin'.

Dark Chocolate Pastries with Dried Fruit and Nuts

4 sheets of phyllo pastry
6 Tbsp of melted butter
1/2 cup dark chocolate (good quality), chopped
1/2 cup nuts, chopped, slightly toasted (almonds or pecans, or walnuts.  your choice)
1/4 cup (or a bit more) dried cranberries, or cherries.   

Preheat oven to 350*F
Line a bake sheet with parchment. 
In a bowl, combine the chopped chocolate, nuts and fruit. 
Lay one sheet of phyllo out on counter.  Keep remaining sheets covered with a damp cloth. 
Brush butter over the phyllo.  Repeat with remaining 3 sheets.
Sprinkle the chocolate mixture lengthwise down the phyllo, leaving a one inch border on the 3 sides.  Roll, starting from the edge closest to you, tucking in the sides.  Roll tightly.  Place on the bake sheet and brush with more butter.  Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown. When completely cooled, slice on the diagonal.  Makes about 18 pastries.  Best served, (and eaten!) the day of, but that shouldn't be a problem.


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