Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 5 mins
Paula Lambert; This is not a make ahead dessert; do not make more than 1 hour in advance—phyllo can absorb the moisture from the ricotta and get soggy.
- 5 sheets phyllo dough, 12 inch by 17 inch each
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups well-drained ricotta cheese
- 1⁄2 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon dark-roasted espresso beans, ground to a fine powder (or instant espresso powder)
- chocolate-covered coffee beans
- fresh mint leaves
- For phyllo layers: preheat oven to 375°; butter a baking sheet.
- Place the 5 sheets of phyllo at the edge of a work surface, covered with a damp dish towel.
- Pour the melted butter into a small dish; place the sugar in another dish.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper the size of the phyllo sheets on the flat work surface.
- Spread out 1 sheet of phyllo dough on the plastic wrap, while keeping the unused phyllo covered with the dish towel.
- Quickly brush the sheet with butter and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar; place another sheet of phyllo on top; repeat brushing with butter and sprinkling with sugar.
- Continue with the remaining 3 sheets of phyllo, ending with butter and sugar sprinkled on the top sheet of phyllo.
- Once all the sheets of phyllo are stacked, one on top of the other, cut through them using the tip of a sharp knife to cut the sheet into 36 squares, approximately 2 inches by 2 ½ inches.
- Using a metal spatula, transfer the phyllo squares onto the baking sheet, leaving about ½ inch between the squares.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for about 5 minutes, until dark golden brown.
- Remove from oven; immediately loosen the phyllo squares from the baking sheet, using a flat metal spatula; leave the squares on the baking sheet and set aside to cool on a cake rack.
- Ricotta filling: Add ricotta and honey to a food processor fitted with a steel blade; process until smooth; set aside and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- To make the Napoleons—place one phyllo square on a flat surface, top with a teaspoon of the ricotta filling, and then sprinkle with a pinch of ground espresso; repeat until there are 4 layers of phyllo, each topped with ricotta filling and each sprinkled with espresso dust.
- To serve: garnish each Napoleon with a chocolate-covered espresso bean and a couple of mint leaves; serve as soon as possible.
- If holding for up to 1 hour, place the Napoleon on a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until serving time.