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M’hancha

2014-09-08

Recipe Info

  • Servings : 4
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 35m
  • Ready In : 1:05 h

The name of this delicious pastry comes from the Arabic word for snake. You can make it with pistachios instead of almonds and substitute rosewater for orange blossom water. The apricots aren’t traditionally used, but they make a delicious addition.

Ingredients

  • 200 grams Blanched Almonds
  • 200 grams Blanched Almonds
  • 200 grams Blanched Almonds
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Rose water
  • 60 grams Butter, at Room Temperature
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) Almond Essence
  • 40 grams Dried Apricots, Diced
  • 1 Egg York
  • 8 Honey
  • Icing Sugar
  • Cinnamon to Decorate

Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 200°C / gas mark 6. Butter a 30cm x 38cm non-stick baking sheet and line with a sheet of buttered grease proof paper.

Step 2

Put the almonds in a food processor with the sugar and pulse until it’s the texture of sand. Add rose water and pulse to a rough paste.

Step 3

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat and add the almond mixture. Stir for about five minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Step 4

Add cinnamon, almond essence, apricots and egg yolk and stir until thoroughly combined. Divide into four balls, rolling each into a cylinder about the thickness of your thumb and around 28cm long. Chill for 30 minutes.

Step 5

In a small pan, melt the butter. Brush a sheet of filo pastry with butter, overlap a second sheet along the narrow edge and brush that with butter, too. Place two more sheets on top, attaching the short edge with a little melted butter. Place two of your ‘snakes’ along the long edge furthest away from you, leaving about a 3cm border at the top. Fold the edge over the top and roll gently and evenly towards you. Repeat with the other two snakes.

Step 6

Coil the ‘snakes’ into a spiral on the baking sheet. Brush the top with melted butter and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden. Warm the honey in a small pan and brush it all over the top, allowing the honey to soak in.

Step 7

Dust with icing sugar and cinnamon. If you want to be very fancy, you can use the cinnamon to form a ‘spoke’ pattern, which is supposed to imitate the snake’s stripes.

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