Strawberry Napoleon with Chocolate-Hazelnut-Ricotta Cream and Meyer Lemon Syrup

Source: Susan Stampke, The Plant Cafe Organic

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on March 31, 2012.

Serves 4


Meyer Lemon Syrup
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup Meyer lemon juice

Chocolate-Hazelnut-Ricotta Cream
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup sugar (organic cane)
8 ounces whole milk ricotta, drained
¼ cup hazelnut, toasted and skins removed
2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate

Hazelnut Phyllo
¼ cup hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed
6 tablespoons sugar
Pinch sea salt
8 sheets phyllo pastry dough
4 ounces unsalted butter, melted

Strawberry Topping
2 pints strawberries, washed, stemmed, and quartered
2 tablespoons simple syrup, plus more as needed


1.    Make the Meyer lemon caramel ahead, because it needs to cool at least 3 hours before using. Heat the sugar and ¼ cup water, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring completely and allow it to boil undisturbed until it turns a light brown.

2.    Remove it from the heat and slowly and carefully pour the lemon juice in. It will bubble. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until smooth, scraping up the thicker part that settles on the bottom. If any lumps develop, return the pan to the heat and stir until they dissolve.  Let cool.

3.    Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

4.    To make the cream, whip the heavy cream with the sugar to medium thickness. Fold in the ricotta, hazelnuts, and chocolate. Chill until needed.

5.    To make the hazelnut phyllo, combine the toasted hazelnuts, sugar, and sea salt in a food processor; process until the hazelnuts are finely chopped.

6.    Unwrap the sheets of phyllo and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Lay a sheet of phyllo on top of the pan, brush the phyllo with a thin layer of butter, and sprinkle with the hazelnut-sugar mixture.

7.    Place another sheet on top, brush with a thin layer of butter, and sprinkle with the hazelnut-sugar mixture. Repeat until all phyllo is used.

8.    Cut the phyllo dough into 2-inch squares with a paring knife. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the cut phyllo; top with a second sheet pan (this will ensure that the pastry will cook thin and crispy).

9.    Bake for 15 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Remove the top sheet pan and allow the pastries to cool completely.

10.    While pastries are in the oven, combine the strawberries and simple syrup and toss, using more simple syrup if the berries are not still too tart.

11.    To assemble, place a square of hazelnut phyllo on a plate and top with about a tablespoon of ricotta cream and 4 strawberry pieces. Repeat, making 3 layers. Drizzle with Meyer lemon sauce.

Farmers Market Ingredients