Thursday, 20 October 2005

SHF 13: Chocolate Almond and Date Filo Coil

Chocolate Almond and Date Filo CoilThe current SHF hosted by Kelli at Lovescool is all about dark chocolates. We have to do and blog about a dessert or anything sweetish with it as an ingredient. Chocolate? No sweat. But, and a big but, she emphasised that it should be something different from what you normally do. Okay that got me thinking. Since chocolate is probably the most favourite dessert ingredient of anyone in the planet - I've done cakes, cookies, bars, countless brownies, muffins, etc. that I couldn't think of anything else to do with it. Hmmm, this is a job for a library visit. And away I went ...

Christine France's recipe in her book Chocolate Dreams caught my eye because it just is different, besides the fact that I haven't made anything like it, and also because I have all the ingredients at home. That made me doubly happy 'coz I don't have to spend anything extra. Well, to tell the truth I was semi-desperate to find a recipe for my filo pastry that's been sitting in my freezer for months. I hate waste and was afraid that it would expire before it can grace our table and stomachs.

Chocolate Almond and Date Filo CoilThe size of the baking pan had to be changed to a smaller one since the pastry when rolled and coiled did not fill it up completely. I don't think it was meant to be donut-looking. Or maybe it's because about a quarter of the filo pastry was already soggy hence I couldn't include it. Anyways, it was quite easy to make, rolling the filling in the pastry a doddle, with only the coiling part in the pan making me work carefully 'coz I was afraid the pastry would break.

Taste wise it was good at least for me since I love nuts. The texture and pastry reminded me of baklava that got me thinking this must be a variation of that type. But I do love it in a very chocolatey-nutty way.


Chocolate Almond and Date Filo Coil

Chocolate Almond and Date Filo Coil

*Filling:
115 g  dark chocolate (about 70% chocolate content) - broken into pieces
75 g  unsalted butter
100 g  [1 cup] ground almond
115 g  [3/4 cup] chopped dates
75 g  [1/2 cup] icing sugar (confectioner's)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

*Wrapper:
275 g  filo pastry (about 6 sheets)
50 g  unsalted butter - melted

*Garnish:
cocoa powder
cinnamon
icing sugar (confectioner's)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4.
  2. Grease a 20cm (8-inch) round baking pan (springform or loose-bottomed would be better).
  3. Mix icing sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Toss the chopped dates in the ground almond making sure to separate the date pieces while doing so. Set aside.
  5. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until well combined.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the icing sugar mixture.
  7. Add the ground almond and dates. Mix until well combined. Cool.
  8. On a clean surface, layout one of the filo pastry sheets. Brush lightly with melted butter.
    Put another sheet on top, repeat brushing of melted butter.
  9. Divide the chocolate mixture into three.
  10. Form one portion into a sausage-like log near the edge of the lower part of the long side of the pastry sheets. Roll up sheet to cover the chocolate, making sure to keep it even, all the way to the end.
  11. Coil this inside the round baking pan. Repeat with the other sheets until you have filled it all up.
  12. Finally, brush top of coiled pastry with melted butter. Bake in oven for about 30-35 minutes.
  13. Remove from heat, cool a little then remove from pan. Cool completely.
  14. Before serving, sift or sprinkle a little cocoa, cinnamon, and icing sugar on top.

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