If chocolate-covered cherries are a confection favorite, this dessert will suit your tastes. Jane Shapton suggests topping warm slices of this crisp, easy-to-make strudel with cool whipped cream and dark shavings of semisweet chocolate.
1/3 cup vanilla cookie crumbs
1 cup Bing or other dark, sweet cherries, rinsed and pitted (or use frozen pitted cherries)
1/3 cup dried sweet cherries
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon kirsch (optional)
6 sheets filo dough (about 12 by 18 in.)
1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine, melted
Powdered sugar (optional)
How to Make It
In a bowl, gently mix cookie crumbs, fresh cherries, dried cherries, almonds, chocolate chips, sugar, cinnamon, and kirsch.
Lay 1 filo sheet flat (cover remaining filo with plastic wrap to prevent drying) and brush lightly with butter. Cover with another filo sheet and brush lightly with more butter. Repeat to stack remaining filo.
Spread cherry-chocolate filling in a 3-inch-wide band along 1 long edge of the dough, 2 inches in from edge and the ends. Fold long edge, then the ends of dough over filling. Gently roll the filled side of dough forward to form a compact cylinder, ending seam side down.
Gently transfer the strudel roll, seam down, to a buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheet. Brush top of roll with remaining melted butter.
Bake on the center rack in a 375° regular or convection oven until golden brown, 15 to 25 minutes. Using 2 wide spatulas, transfer strudel to a platter. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar, if desired. Cut into 1 1/2-inch-wide slices and serve warm.