Raspberries and Chocolate in Phyllo Purses 6.000

Len Spoden for The Washington Post

Chef on Call Aug 20, 2008

This showstopper dessert takes some work, but it's worth it. Serve with good-quality vanilla ice cream.

To work with the phyllo, you'll need a pastry brush, a sharp knife and a fine-mesh strainer or shaker for the confectioners' sugar. Or for an almost-as-good alternative, eliminate the phyllo and serve the shortbread layered with ganache and raspberries and garnished with vanilla ice cream.

The ganache used here can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Servings: 6
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), preferably between 60 and 75 percent cacao, finely chopped
  • 12 all-butter round shortbread cookies, such as Walker's (at least 2 inches in diameter)
  • 72 fresh raspberries
  • 12 sheets (from 1 or 2 packages) phyllo dough, defrosted
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream, for serving


Heat the cream in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges.

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream slowly over the chocolate; let it sit for 30 seconds, then whisk the mixture until it is smooth and well combined, to form a ganache. Let it cool for 30 minutes or until it has the consistency of toothpaste.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil; arrange the 12 cookies on the sheet. Drop a large rounded spoonful of ganache onto each one, being careful not to spill over the edges of the cookies. Place 6 raspberries on each ganache-topped cookie, pressing gently to anchor them. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Prepare the phyllo squares: Lay 1 sheet of phyllo on a clean work surface. As you work with each individual sheet, keep the remaining phyllo sheets from drying out by covering them with a clean, very slightly damp kitchen cloth.

Use a pastry brush to spread about 1 tablespoon of the melted butter over the entire surface of the phyllo sheet. (Start by buttering the outside edges, then work your way inside.) Place the confectioners' sugar in a fine-mesh strainer or shaker; liberally sprinkle the buttered phyllo sheet with it. Cover with a second sheet of phyllo and repeat with the melted butter and confectioners' sugar. Repeat with a third sheet of phyllo.

Use a sharp knife to cut the phyllo sheets in half from top to bottom and then from left to right. Place one raspberry-ganache shortbread in the center of each section of phyllo. Bring up the sides of the phyllo and pinch them together gently, forming a small bag. Lightly brush the exposed surface with melted butter and place on the lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 3 squares.

Repeat those steps two more times so that there are 12 bundles in all. Refrigerate them for at least 2 hours or place them in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 400 degrees (or 375 degrees, if using convection). Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the phyllo is lightly golden brown. Place 2 bundles and a scoop of ice cream on each plate. Garnish with raspberries and serve immediately.

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Recipe Source

From chef Susan Holt of CulinAerie.

Tested by Susan Holt.

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