Well, you know I can’t go long without baking a dessert – especially from a culture that involves phyllo-based pastries! M’Hanncha is a coiled pastry made of phyllo stuffed with almond paste and topped with almonds.
The almond paste is flavored with orange blossom water. I’ve used rosewater before for Greek and Lebanese desserts, but this was my first time working with orange blossom water. The 2 Tbsp. in this recipe is a bit strong for me, so if I make it again I’ll probably cut back a little bit. I didn’t add the extra flavoring to the honey syrup that I poured on top either. The perfume-y fragrance of those flower waters is something I can handle in moderation, but it’s still a little strange to my Western palate. It’s funny, I was at Neomonde to get some supplies for my Moroccan kitchen earlier this week, and a tween was telling her mom that she thought the baklava tasted like soap – no doubt because of the rosewater. The amount of rosewater in Neomonde’s pistachio baklava is just perfect though, I have to say :)
A video of the recipe is actually available online, from Cooking with Alia – that’s the recipe I used. So I’m not going to retype the recipe here.
I bought the little recipe booklet that comes with a full DVD of her recipe demonstrations. The repetitive background music is a little annoying, but she does a good job of showing all the steps to make your own m’hanncha, and many other fun dishes that I hope to try. So many recipes, so little time!