Enjoying a special dessert doesn’t have to be something you reserve for holidays or when you’re trying out new restaurants with your husband. There’s no reason you can’t indulge yourself on an ordinary weeknight, too. This recipe for banana phyllo drizzled with chocolate is easy to make and can compliment that chicken parm you were already planning to make.
A meal from Italy
Some might consider Baked Chicken Parmesan a little boring, but it’s an easy-to-prepare favorite for many couples after a long day at the office.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F, coat some chicken breasts in breadcrumbs, heat up some canned sauce (my favorite is Newman’s Own Fra Diavolo), and bake for 15 minutes. Open a bottle of Merlot and you have a great meal to share with your husband, all in time for the start of American Idol.
A dessert from Greece
But with a little foresight, you could be simultaneously baking a special dessert made for two, using a convenient countertop oven while your chicken parm is baking in your Viking. To complement your Italian entrée, you might consider a light Greek pastry made with phyllo.
Phyllo is a thin pastry sheet featured in many Greek and Mediterranean dishes like baklava and apple strudel. It’s flaky and lighter than dough. This delicious Banana Phyllo can be ready to cap off your meal just as Ryan Seacrest is sending this week’s Idol loser home.
Bananas Wrapped in Phyllo with Chocolate Sauce
Banana Phyllo Ingredients
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- ½ cup hot water
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 sheets of phyllo pastry
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 4 small bananas
- 1 jar store-bought chocolate sauce
- garnish of icing sugar and raspberries
Banana Phyllo Instructions
- Soak dried cherries in hot water for 5 minutes. Squeeze the water out of cherries and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Set aside.
- Peel the 4 bananas and cut each one in half lengthwise. Set aside.
- Cut the 8 sheets of phyllo pastry in half and cover with a damp towel.
- Place one piece of cut phyllo dough onto a work surface and brush lightly with melted butter. Place another sheet of pastry on top and lightly brush with butter. Repeat until you have 4 layers.
- Spread one quarter of the cream cheese in center of pastry. Sprinkle on a quarter of the chocolate and a quarter of the cherries over the cream cheese.
- Place two banana slices side by side (lengthwise) on top of the filling. Fold the side edges inward. Then fold the front half over on top of the bananas and roll tightly to create a rectangular package. Brush top with butter.
- Repeat steps 5 through 7 for the other 3 bananas. Place the 4 wrapped bananas on a cooking tray.
- Put tray in convection oven and bake at 350°F with convection turned on. Set timer for 20 minutes. Bake until golden brown.
- Remove tray from oven and cool on rack. To serve, cut diagonally and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Add a light dusting of icing sugar and garnish with a few raspberries.
Step it up a notch
If you love this recipe and want to take it a little further the next time you have company, try making the chocolate sauce from scratch.
Homemade Chocolate Sauce
Chocolate Sauce Ingredients
- 1 cup water
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons strong espresso or 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- ½ cup heavy cream
Chocolate Sauce Instructions
- Combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium and whisk in coffee and cocoa powder until smooth. Add cream while whisking to combine and cook until sauce thickens (about 3 minutes).
- Remove from heat and cool.
One last touch
Working with packaged phyllo dough is quite easy. But if you really feel like a challenge, you can make phyllo dough yourself and try to stretch or roll your own sheets; but be forewarned, it is time-consuming.