Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Tiramisu Cups

Servings: 4
These individual little "tiramisu" cups would make a perfect dessert for a small dinner party, or why not serve them at brunch. They would be lovely served at an afternoon tea party also.

6 oz. cream cheese or mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract* (see note)
4 large phyllo cups *(See How to Make Phyllo Cups below), at room temperature
1/2 cup frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
3/4 cup mixed berries (optional)
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate shavings or chocolate curls

In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the cream cheese (or mascarpone cheese, if using), confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, milk and vanilla; with a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour.

Fill the phyllo cups with the cocoa mixture; top with the berries (if using) and sprinkle with the chocolate shavings or chocolate curls.

Rather than dirty your pastry bag, snip a small hole in the corner of a plastic food storage bag and fit with a tip before spooning in the filling. If you don't have a tip, don't worry, you can still pipe the mixture from the hole.

Makes 4 servings.

*Note: If desired, you can substitute the vanilla extract with a little bit of brandy or rum flavoring to give these little goodies an extra bite.

How To Make Phyllo Cups

Note: You will need one package of store-bought frozen phyllo sheets, thawed.

These versatile cups can be made ahead of time and filled with sweet fillings. They are made in muffin tins and can be made in any size depending upon what you use.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 C). Layer 4 sheets of phyllo dough, brushing each layer with melted butter or oil. To prepare cups for the chocolate mousse filling, sprinkle each layer with granulated or confectioner's sugar after brushing with butter or oil.

2. Cut squares with scissors from the phyllo for various muffin pan sizes: (3-1/2 inch squares for mini cups; 5-1/2 inch for standard cups; 8-inch squares for jumbo cups. Spray the muffin tins with vegetable oil spray.

3. Press the layered phyllo squares gently but firmly against the bottoms and sides of the muffin cups.

4. Bake the empty shells until they are crisp and golden about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before filling. The empty cups can also be frozen. The cups can be prepared and baked 2 to 3 days in advance and stored in a covered airtight container.

5. Avoid filling them until just before serving. Moist contents will cause the phyllo to become soggy.

Date: October 11, 2004