M’hanncha. A traditional Moroccan dessert, meaning “the snake”. I’m not sure I quite got to the snake… but I gave it a red hot go.

I had seen Jamie Oliver make this dessert on his latest TV series and thought it looked delicious. After I was given his lovely cookbook as a present a little while ago, the delicious recipe again beckoned to me. Whispering its moroccan song from the books pages. The recipe needed to be made. Now I just needed a kitchen with more bench space than mine (you need two metres of rolling room). A visit to my mums kitchen and I had the bench space I needed.

Time to get cracking.

Mixture looks good, and it comes to the pastry part and rolling….oophh!

He made it look so easy! Was my pastry no good? Was I too slow? Were my arms too Neanderthal? Was my technique decidedly lacking when it came to putting the thing in the tin?… Probably yes to all the above. After much huffing, puffing and sighing, it was plonked in the oven and resigned myself to the fact it wasn’t going to be the standout dish I had hoped for.

However…It was delicious!

Didn’t look a thing like the book. Not a tooting thing, but the taste got me by. Thanks Jamie.

19 thoughts on “M’hanncha

  1. Jamie has a way of making his pastry concoctions look way too easy for my liking, but I love the look of this one Brydie. Watched Jamie do some amazing Moroccan dishes in one of this TV shows, but haven’t had a peek at this cookbook. Love to know the flavours of this one. And the snake?


  2. Jeez, putting that picture up made mine look even worse. That’s the snake anyway people. 2 metres of pastry filled with lovely ground almonds, rose water, lemon, orange, butter (a lot!)

    You’re right Heidi I will try it again. It was too delicious not to try and make it look like ‘the snake’


  3. Pingback: RECIPES « Cityhippyfarmgirl

  4. Hi, What was the filling made of. I watch the show as well but I forgot to write down the recipe. Could anyone tell me please. I am really interested in making it



    • Inside is a whole lot of butter, sugar and almonds!

      Cream 375gms butter with 375gms icing sugar, fold in 3 eggs, Add 375gms ground almons with 1 heaped tbls plain flour. Mix well.
      add zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange, 50gms crushed pistachios, and 4 tabls rose water.
      Lay 10 sheets of filo pastry out on the bench, over lapping a few centimetres, spooning the mixture out in a snake and then quickly rolling up, as tightly as your can. If the pastry drys out dab it with a little melted butter. Roll up and gently slide into tin or tray to cook in. Bake at 180C for approx 40-45 mins.

      Hope this helps. Good luck!


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