Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Chocolate-Apricot Strudel

Servings: 8
For Filling:
1/3 cup amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced (about 6 ounces)
1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Remaining Ingredients:
8 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
Butter-flavored cooking spray
4 dried apricots, diced (optional)

To Prepare Filling:
Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Microwave at high 1 1/2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring after 45 seconds. Stir in dried apricots and ginger; cover. Microwave at high 3 minutes; let stand 5 minutes. Place apricot mixture in a food processor or blender; process until coarsely chopped. Spoon apricot mixture into bowl; cover and cool completely. Stir in 1/4 cup chips.

To Assemble:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface (cover remaining dough to keep from drying); lightly coat with cooking spray. Working with 1 phyllo sheet at a time, coat remaining 7 phyllo sheets with cooking spray, placing one on top of the other. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over phyllo, pressing gently to seal sheets together; discard plastic wrap.

Spoon filling along 1 long edge of phyllo, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold over the short edges of phyllo to cover 2 inches of apricot mixture on each end.

Starting at long edge with 2-inch border, roll up jelly-roll fashion. Do not roll tightly, or the strudel may split. (Strudel may be frozen for up to five days at this point.) Place strudel, seam side down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Score 7 diagonal slits into top of strudel using a sharp knife. Lightly spray strudel with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 C) for 30 minutes or until golden.

Place 1/4 cup chips in a small heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag, and seal. Submerge bag in very hot water until chips melt. Snip a tiny hole in 1 corner of bag; drizzle chocolate evenly over each of 8 dessert plates. Cut strudel diagonally into 16 slices using a serrated knife dipped in hot water; arrange 2 slices over chocolate drizzle. Garnish each serving with diced apricot, if desired.

Makes 8 servings.

Date: August 6, 2004