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M’hancha (Snake Patty)

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Moroccan Almond Snake Patty Recipe – M’hancha

This sweet Moroccan pastry takes its name from a traditional serving of pastry-wrapped marzipan into a snake-like shape. M’hancha can be made quite large to serve at social gatherings; Guests enjoy their pastries by breaking small portions on the outermost part of the coil.


What You Need


For Almond Butter:

  • 17 oz. (500 g) blanched, peeled almonds
  • 1 cup (225 g) granulated sugar or flavor
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or flavor small pinch of mastic or gum arabic powder
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons (40 ml) orange blossom water

To Collect Dough

  • 10 medium (9 “to 10” diameter) warqa petals
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten for sealing
  • 3 1/2 oz. Melted unsalted butter (100 g)
  • Whisk 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water or milk

To Decorate Cake:

  • 1 cup honey mixed with some orange blossom water coarsely ground (or sliced ​​almonds or granulated sugar and ground cinnamon)

How to do it


Almond Paste

1. If you are starting whole, raw almonds, blanch and peel. Let them dry, then fry half the bleached almonds in veal vegetable oil until golden brown. Be careful not to burn them. Remove and drain the almonds on a colander or paper towels.

2. Place the fried and uncooked almonds with sugar in a food process. Process until very powdery, then continue processing a little longer until the mixture becomes a paste.

3. Transfer the ground almonds to a bowl. Work by hand in cinnamon, gum arabic, butter, and orange flower water. Knead until all the ingredients are properly combined with the marzipan.

4. Take a handful of marzipan and squeeze it into a log shape. Glue a long stick to glue the thickness of your thumb or index finger, moving it back and forth on your work surface. Do not collapse the ends. Repeat with the remaining marzipan.


Shape of M’hancha Dough and Bake

1. Preheat the oven to 350 ° F (180 ° C). Draw a large baking dish with parchment paper.

2. Place your round warqa sheets in a neat pile and straighten them straight across the top and bottom with a sharp knife or scissors to make rectangular shaped cake sheets.

3.On a large work surface, arrange three or four rectangular dough horizontally, with each rectangle overlapping about two inches (5 cm) of dough. Use egg yolk to cover the overlapped edges of the dough. The total length of the overlapping cake sheets should accommodate half of your marzipan logs.

4. Brush the bound dough sheets with the melted butter. Row the marzipan logs along the entire length of the bottom edge of the cakes. Press the logs together into one long cylinder. Allow some empty pie area after the last recording on the right; This will allow the pastry cake to be stuck with a small gap under the m’hancha after it has been shaped.

5. Cover the marzipan in the Warqa dough by carefully rolling it from bottom to top.

When the roll is almost done, brush the last yolk or two open dough with egg yolk on top, then continue rolling towards the top edge to seal.

6. Carefully wrap the wrapped marzipan, starting from the left end; Avoid breaking cakes while working. The hollow end of the dough should now be at the far end of the outermost coil. Brush the pile dough piece with the egg yolk and stick it to the bottom of the bobbin, pressing it down.

7. Repeat with the remaining marzipan and remaining logs of dumpling. You can then add this length of wrapped marzipan to the existing coil or make a second separate pastry.

8. Transfer the roll dough to the prepared tray. Brush top and sides with melted butter, then wash with egg. Bake the prepared pastry in the middle of the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes, golden brown. (Note: I’ve seen some recipes that involve turning the cake upside down and turning it into an oven that turns brown from the bottom, but it can be difficult to do and isn’t really necessary.) Take the pan out of the oven and decorate it however you like.


Decorating with Honey and Almonds

1. Heat the honey in a small saucepan until hot and thin. Mix a small spoonful or two of orange flower water.

2. Brush as much honey syrup as you like over the still warm pastry and garnish with chopped or sliced ​​almonds. Let it cool before serving.


To garnish with icing sugar

1. Allow the snake pulp to cool, then strain the powdered sugar on top.

2. If desired, cinnamon can be added to the field by dusting lightly on the powdered sugar or sprinkling fine cinnamon on top.


Notes and tips

1. To make m’hancha in advance, shape the cakes completely, including whisking them with eggs. Wrap and freeze, then bake the day of serving, get extra time if you put the cakes in the oven directly from the freezer.

2. To use warqa instead of phyllo dough, follow the method described above, but use two or three layers of phyllo per layer of warqa, reminding to mix each layer with melted butter. Do not use any unused sprouts left under a damp towel until ready to use.

3. Divide the marzipan into 20 portions to shape the mini m’hancha. Place each in a cylinder slightly narrower than your middle finger. Cut the round sheets of warqa in half, brush each half with butter, then fold each piece in half to make a wedge. Take a folded wedge dough and lay it in front of you, open wide curve at the bottom. Place a place on the bottom of the marzipan (if necessary, stretch it almost to the width of your dough and roll forward) and roll the dough to the point. . Wrap the wrapped marzipan and place on the prepared tray. Repeat with the remaining marzipan and pastry, then wash with melted butter and then egg. Cook and decorate properly.

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