If you are anything like me, you love pastries but never make time to futz with complicated baking recipes. I admittedly bake like a cook: high on flavor but loose in technique. I love to throw things together that I know will inspire my tastebuds with texture and flavor combinations, but I do not like repeating a baking recipe over and over until I have fine-tuned all the the ingredients. A pinch of this, yes. A skosh of that, absolutely. A micro-measured and detailed approach, no way! Actually, the thought gives me a feeling of anxiety (much like being boxed in). So, yes, I bake like a cook. Actually, that is why I love phyllo dough. It is easy to work with, seems fussy, but the hard work has already been done for me!
So, thinking like a cook, I decided to play with some phyllo for Valentine’s Day. This recipe would be delicious with a myriad of fruit options, but I chose bright red strawberries for this lovebird dessert.
Brown Sugar & Sea Salt Phyllo Cups with Strawberries, Chocolate & Creme Fraiche
A few sheets of phyllo (found in the frozen aisle of the grocery store)
1/4 cup brown sugar, or less
2 tbls butter, melted
1 pint of strawberries, sliced or chopped
Start with one sheet of phyllo dough. Using a pastry brush, brush the sheet with your melted butter. Then sprinkle with brown sugar and a pinch of salt.
Layer on another sheet and repeat the butter and brown sugar. On your third layer, repeat the butter, brown sugar AND the sea salt (you want the salt to have a little flavor impact, but not in between every layer). You want four sheets thick for you cups.
Using a pizza roller, slice the phyllo into squares and place them in a mini cupcake tin.
Bake them at 350* for approximately 10 minutes. You are looking for them to go from white to golden.
Time to fill!
Using a regular old veggie peeler will give your chocolate a beautiful curly shape.
Last step on this quick and fancy dessert is to top them with a dollop of creme fraiche.
This is a light and incredibly addictive dessert. Do NOT let phyllo intimidate you, it is the easiest way to make a dish look and taste impressive. Bon apetit! Time to start thinking of ways to share your love this month!
Photos Credit to: Jessica Helton