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One of my close friend came to visit me last week, it was not really a visit since she was just happened to be in the city for a day. But she did came and it was a rare occasion, so I thought maybe I should make something special for her. I know she likes nuts, specially almond and I happened to have a box of filo pastry sitting in my fridge. So M’hanncha is the ideal combination :).. thanks to Pinterest for the idea.

M’hanncha is a morocco sweet pie where they use filo pastry to wrap a mixture of almond paste. The almond paste it self is almost the same kind of paste that we use to make bostock (almond brioche). The almond paste is mixture of butter, almond meal, pistachio and orange zest. The orange zest gives a bit of zinc kick to cut down the richness from the buttery almond. It is an easy and simple sweet treat for special occasion :).

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Things you need:

  • 6 sheets of filo pastry
  • 185 gr butter
  • 120 gr icing sugar (adjust to your liking)
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 180 gr ground almond
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 50 gr crushed pistachio (with some more extra for sprinkle)
  • 1 tbsp of melted butter

Things you need to do:

Make the filling. Using standing mixer, whip the butter and icing sugar until creamy and soft with your paddle attachment. Add in the eggs all together into the butter mixture, using medium speed, keep whipping it until the egg and butter mixture comes together. Dont worry too much if in the beginning you see that the butter and egg are lumpy and separated. It will come together at the end, just let your mixer do the job. Add in the ground almond, vanilla extract and orange zest, mix it well. Lastly, sprinkle the pistachio on the mixture, roughly mix it together using rubber spatula.

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Prepared the snake pie.Get 1 sheet of filo pastry, put it on the working surface, lightly brush the sides of the filo with some melted butter, get the second layer of filo pastry on top of the first layer. Scoop some of the almond mixture and put it along the length of the filo. Roll the filo away from you (just like making a wrap), you will get a big cigar shape. Keeping the filo nicely tucked and tight, take one end and start to coil it to make a snail shape. Be very gentle because the filo is really fragile.

Repeat the steps until all of the almond mixture is finished. You will have at least 3 medium sized snails/snake.

Butter the surface of the filo snails then bake it for 40 mins or until the pastry is golden brown. Take out it from the oven. The pastry may burst around the edges, but dont worry, just cut away the overflowing filling.

Once cooled, dust with icing sugar and sprinkle some pistachio on top.

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