Almond, pistachio and turkish delight m’hencha
- July 2016
- Serves 10-12
- Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 30-35 min
Crisp layers of filo pastry are filled with spiced frangipane and gooey chunks of Turkish delight, then rolled into a spectacular Moroccan m’hencha swirl.
For an equally good nutty pastry, look no further than our hazelnut, apple and tahini pastry cigars.
- 44.2g (16.4g saturated)
- 36.8g (22.7g sugars)
- 7 sheets filo pastry
- 75g unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
For the filling
- 250g unsalted butter
- 200g icing sugar, plus extra to dust
- 3 medium free-range eggs
- ½ tsp sea salt flakes
- 2-3 tsp orange blossom water
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Finely grated zest 1 orange and 1 lemon
- 300g ground almonds
- 100g pistachios, roughly ground or finely chopped, plus extra to serve
- 50g flaked almonds
- 80g rose or lemon flavoured turkish delight, snipped into small pieces
You’ll also need…
- 23cm round cake tin with removable base (see tips) and a large work surface
- To make the filling, put the butter and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until combined and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one by one, then fold in all the remaining ingredients. Set aside until needed.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Lightly dust a large area of work surface with icing sugar. Lay out 6 filo sheets in a single row with the short edges facing you, overlapping each sheet on the previous one by 7-8cm. (Keep the final sheet to patch up any holes or tears.) Dollop the filling along the length of the pastry in the bottom third, leaving an 8-10cm border of pastry at the bottom, and the same at either end. Smooth the frangipane with your fingers into one long, even sausage shape.
- Lightly brush the exposed pastry with melted butter, then fold the left end over onto the filling. Next, roll the pastry from the bottom up to cover the filling, and tuck it in around the frangipane. Carefully roll the frangipane-filled pastry upwards to encase it in the rest of the filo.
- Brush the whole thing with more melted butter, then, starting from the left end, roll the sausage carefully into a snug coil, trying not to split the pastry. Tuck the unfilled flap of pastry at the right end under the coil to secure it, then brush the whole thing with more melted butter. Use small squares of the reserved filo sheet, buttered, to patch up any splits, draping them over the hole and pressing them into the pastry.
- Carefully transfer the m’hencha onto the base of the cake tin, then bring the sides up around it. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove from the tin and leave to stand for 20-30 minutes. To serve, sift over some extra icing sugar, scatter with extra pistachios and slice into wedges. The m’hencha can also be served at room temperature.
The turkish delight is easiest to cut with a pair of sharp scissors, dipped in icing sugar every so often to prevent sticking.
The cake tin is used (step 5) as insurance against the m’hencha unravelling in the oven, but if you’re confident it’s properly sealed, you can bake it on an oiled baking sheet.
This is best eaten just warm but will keep for 24 hours in an airtight container. Warm through in the oven before serving.
M’hencha is a Moroccan pastry filled with spiced frangipane. We’ve added turkish delight, making it a bit more indulgent. Serve with thick natural yogurt.
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