From time to time I really enjoy working on a labor-intensive laminated dough. Three days of work? Doesn’t scare me. Sometimes, though, the practical side of me wins out, and I want all of the wow factor but none of the envelope folds that you need for making it from scratch. Anyway, long story short: this is by far the best recipe I have ever developed.
Phyllo-Crust Cheese Mousse
- Cooking and Prep: 3 h 45 m
- Serves: 12
Prepare the Phyllo Crusts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Combine sugar and salt in a small bowl. Lay a large piece of parchment paper on your workspace. Carefully unroll your phyllo and separate one sheet. Cover the rest with a clean dishcloth. Lay the phyllo on your parchment and carefully brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Add another phyllo sheet and another layer of melted butter and sugar. Repeat until you have five layers of dough, each covered in butter and sugar.
Cut the dough into 12 squares and carefully transfer each one to a muffin cup, pushing the center into the cup and letting the sides come up. Bake for 18–20 minutes or until your house smells amazing and they’re golden brown. Remove from the tray to a cooling rack immediately, so they don’t stick. Let cool completely.
Prepare the Filling
Beat the cream until medium peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla bean paste. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Add the cream cheese and beat until fully mixed and a stiff mousse has formed. Transfer to a large ziplock or piping bag. Pipe into the cooled phyllo crusts.
Phyllo is temperamental. If you’re not able to get even a single sheet to separate nicely, it’s possible the box wasn’t stored properly in the grocery store. Buy another box and try again. If small pieces rip, it’s okay. Patch it back up with
You can make the phyllo cups up to a week in advance and store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to fi ll. Do not fi ll in advance. The filling can be made up to three days in advance and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Food and Prop Styling: Renee Muller
Photography: Hudi Greenberger