Phyllo pastry is one of those ingredients that I always have tucked away in my freezer. You can transform just about any ingredient into a super impressive and moreish meal by layering it with lashings of butter and wrapping it up in the flaky pastry. These nutty pastries are inspired by a Moroccan favourite called m'hencha which means 'the serpent'. It's crispy coils hide a sweet orange-scented almond filling doused in a generous drizzling of honey. Replace the orange-blossom water with rose water and top with crystallized rose petals or rose syrup or swop out the almonds for ground pistachios for something special. Served with a simple glass of mint tea, it's an exotic teatime treat that will transport you to a bustling Middle Eastern market with platters piled high with flaky phyllo delicacies.Ingredients:
- 2½ cups ground almonds (see TIP)
- ½ cup castor sugar
- 1t ground cinnamon
- 2T orange-blossom water (or rose water)
- 250g unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs, separated
- 16 sheets Mediterranean Delicacies phyllo pastry
- 100g orange blossom honey
Combine the almonds, sugar and cinnamon.
Add the flower water, half of the butter and the egg yolks.
When combined chill for about 1 hour to firm.
Divide the almond mixture into eight portions.
Brush a phyllo sheet with butter and place another on top. (Cover the remaining sheets with a damp cloth to avoid them drying out).
Cut each sheet lengthwise into 3 long strips.
Place one portion of the almond mixture along a thin line along the one edge of the phyllo and roll it up, brushing the end with egg white to make it stick.
Roll the phyllo roll into a coil like a snake then arrange on a lined or greased baking sheet, making sure that the coils don't unravel.
Repeat with the remaining phyllo and almond mixture.
Brush the top with butter and bake at 190°C for 30 minutes or until golden.
Paint immediately with the warm honey.
Serve with mint tea, if desired.
TIP: This is a great opportunity to use up all the rough ground almonds leftover from making macarons!