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  Chocolate-Hazelnut-Banana Streudel

The Chef
Deborah Snyder of Lever House

Serves 8

1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, preferably with skins removed
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 1/2 ounces chocolate, coarsely chopped (a scant 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
8-10 sheets filo dough, thawed
2 sticks butter, melted
3 bananas, sliced on the bias 1/4-inch thick

Cooking Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss hazelnuts, confection-ers’ sugar, and salt with a splash of water in a bowl. Transfer to a baking sheet, and toast for 8 minutes, until the nuts take a bit of color. Chop the nuts coarsely.

Melt chocolate with vanilla, 1/4 cup water, and a pinch of salt in a double-boiler over medium-low, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer set over a pot of simmering water, whisk the eggs and 1/4 cup granulated sugar until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot. Put the bowl back on the mixer, and whip until the mixture triples in volume, about 5 to 6 minutes. Fold the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, followed by the whipped cream. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Spread one sheet of filo on a clean, dry work surface, and brush with melted butter to cover. Sprinkle with some of the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Place another sheet of filo on top of the first, and press to adhere. Repeat with the butter and sugar, but toss on a few hazelnuts as well. Top with another sheet of filo, and repeat with the butter and sugar. Add the fourth sheet of filo, and cover the remaining sheets with a damp towel.

Working with the long side of the filo facing you, spoon half the chocolate mixture over its length, about 1/2 inch from the bottom, leaving a 11/2-inch border at either end. Sprinkle half the hazelnuts on top of the chocolate, then half the banana slices over the nuts. Fold the bottom edge of the filo over on itself. Fold in on the sides to form a thicker border all around. Gently roll the filo on top of the choco-late, until you reach the end of the sheet. Place the roll, seam side down, on a baking sheet. Brush the filo with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Repeat for a second streudel.

Bake the streudels for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until the filo is golden and the filling puffs up. Some filling may leak out, but don’t worry, the streudels will still be delicious. Let the streudels rest for 10 minutes, or until slightly cooled. Slice them on a bias, about 2 to 2 1/2 inches thick, and serve with coffee whipped cream. (Streudels can be made ahead of time and frozen, unbaked. Thaw 30 minutes before baking.)

Coffee Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 1⁄2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso

Whisk the cream in a bowl, and as it starts to stiffen, add sugar and espresso. Continue whisking until medium peaks form.

Recommended Wines
Moscatel Emilin Lustau, Xerez, Spain

2002 Domaine de la Casa Blanca, Banyuls, France

Commandaria St. John, Cyprus

Domaine de la Rectorie Banyuls 1998

Banyuls Rimage Dr. ParcÚ, France

Photograph by Richard Pierce

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