Thursday 1 December 2016


Good Afternoon to you,

Did you brave Black Friday, the new phenomenon which has crossed the water from America?

My goodness, the first year Black Friday arrived, I was horrified to see how people behaved. It turned, what I perceived, to be normal people, into aggressive people, pushing and shoving each other, to bag a bargain. I can honestly say, I had never seen anything like it. For instance, there were a couple of people shown on television, arguing over the same television set. They were pushing each other, trying to keep their hands on the television and they were so aggressive. It really was a sad sight. I remember thinking at the time, that if the television was still inside the box, it would be neither use nor ornament, because by the time the couple had argued over it, the television would be smashed to smithereens.

So last year, I avoided Black Friday, only to discover that many other people had avoided it as well and that the shops were pretty quiet.

So this year, George and I decided we would test the waters and buy our Christmas gifts on Black Friday. On Thursday evening, we sat down and listed our family and friends and thought about each gift we wanted to buy. George usually shops for the men in our family and I shop for the girls. We agreed, when shopping, there would be no dilly dallying, we would not be side tracked, we would focus on our lists.

We were up and about early on Friday and braced ourselves, but do you know what, we were fine.  At the start of the morning there were no crowds, but we did not linger. As agreed, we went to each shop and bought the gift we wanted and when we reached the end of the list, we decided to go home.

I have to tell you, it was just as well we decided to shop early in the morning, because by the time we had finished our shopping, the town was jam packed with people. 

.... and as we were walking through the crowds, we were secretly smiling to ourselves, because we knew, we were heading home,  to put our feet up and enjoy a cup of coffee.... oh such a nice feeling.

.... and what goes nicely with a cup of coffee? Well, chocolate of course, so this delicious Chocolate Filo Coil certainly hits the spot.

I love using filo pastry in savoury pies and sweet pies,  although I don't use it as much as I used to. 

A friend of mine gave me this recipe a number of years ago, and I found it whilst leafing through one of my old cookery books. So I thought it the perfect thing to make, especially as I love, the combination of chocolate, ground almonds and chopped dates, especially Medjool dates.... for me they are Top of the Pops where dates are concerned. You know about me and my sweet tooth, plus the flavours are so Christmassy.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is,

the marvellous Milos Karadaglic.  I adore this album and today I was in the mood to listen to some beautiful music.

I wanted you to listen to,  El Testament d'Amelia, which is on this album, but I could not find a You tube clip.  So instead I chose Quizas, Quizas, Quizas.... listen to it and tell me if you recognise the music.

So while your listening I will gather my ingredients.


Serves 6-8 people

275g packet of filo pastry ~ thawed
75g unsalted butter

For Dusting

1 level teaspoon of icing sugar           
1 level teaspoon of dark cocoa powder
1 level teaspoon of cinnamon             

The Filling

75g unsalted butter
125g dark chocolate
115g ground almonds
115g chopped dates
75g icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

You will need a 25cm round cake tin


Butter the cake tin.


Place the butter with the chocolate into a heatproof bowl.

Bring a quarter filled pan of water to the boil, reduce to a simmer and place the bowl containing the butter and chocolate over the pan. 

Do not allow the bowl to touch the simmering water. If it does, then empty some of the water from the pan. Make sure the bowl fits comfortably.

When melted, remove the bowl from the heat. Place a tea towel on your work surface so that the bowl does not slip. Stir the butter and chocolate together.

Add the ground almonds
Add the chopped dates
Add the icing sugar
and finally,
Add the cinnamon.

and mix the ingredients together.  The mixture will slowly come together.

Set aside to cool.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F

Melt the butter.


gently unroll the filo pastry.

Remove the first sheet and brush with the melted butter.

Lay another sheet on top of the first sheet and brush the second sheet with melted butter.

Place some of your chocolate filling along the bottom edge of the filo pastry, about 1/2 inch from the edge and gently roll the filo into a long sausage shape.  With each turn, brush with melted butter.  I find this much easier than trying to turn the flat sheets of filo pastry.  It will take a little longer, but it is worth the effort.

To give you a guide, I used 8 teaspoonfuls of chocolate mix for each roll.  Do not overfill each roll, because otherwise, when you get to the final roll, you will not have enough mixture.

Place the first roll around the outside of the buttered cake tin.


repeat the process, until

the cake tin is full.

Brush the coil with the remaining melted butter.
If you find you do not have enough melted
butter, then just melt a little more.

Place the Chocolate Filo Coil in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until the filo pastry is a golden brown.

Allow the pastry to cool a little and dust with the icing sugar mixture.  As you can see, the icing sugar has melted, because my filo coil was a little hot. I really did not have the time to cool the filo coil. 
Can you guess why?
Yes, you've guessed it. You certainly know my husband.
 The aroma from the kitchen had George walking in and out of the kitchen, ready and waiting for the coil to be baked.


just like George,

cut a slice,

pour over some single cream



If you do not want to make a coil, once the filo pastry is filled with the chocolate mixture and rolled, you could also cut the roll into 2 or 3 inch pieces and cook as individual pastries.  I feel sure you would probably have to adjust the cooking time, but I cannot imagine by much.

I tell you what, next time I make this Chocolate Filo Coil, I will cut the rolls and bake them and I will let you know how long they take.

So take care and I will see you next Thursday.

As Always,

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Dear Friends,

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Best wishes to you.


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