Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chocolate-Raspberry Pastries

by Claire (age 8) and Timo (age 4)

We like to make these tiny pastries when we have a craving for something sweet and fancy!

Pre-baked phyllo pastry shells (you can find these in the freezer section - just thaw and fill)
Bittersweet, semisweet, or milk chocolate (we like Ghiradelli bars)
Heavy cream, chilled
A little sugar and vanilla for the cream
Fresh raspberries or other berries

Arrange the pastry shells on a serving platter.

Melt the chocolate in a glass measuring cup in the microwave or in a little metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water (a "double boiler") on the stove. Make sure to have a grown-up help you with this!!

If you want to make homemade whipped cream, pour the chilled cream into a mixer bowl and add a little sugar and vanilla. 1 cup of cream, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla is a good ratio. Beat with a mixer until the cream thickens enough that you can pick it up with a spoon and it holds its shape. Store any unused whipped cream in the refrigerator. If you want to save some time, you can use canned whipped cream.

Fill the pastry shells with some melted chocolate. Let them cool. Top with little dollops of whipped cream and some berries. (For fun, Claire did the math and figured out how many berries would be needed to put 2 berries on each pastry they made!)

For something different, you can fill these pastry shells with any combination of pudding, caramel, or chocolate and top with fruit or other goodies...get creative with it! This is a quick and easy way to make a fancy-looking dessert for company, tea parties with your friends, and so on.

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