Moroccan Almond Pastries

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:

Method: 

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!

 

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