In the afternoon, if I already done with all the housework, I sometimes sit back and watch TV, maybe with a cup of tea or two. In those rare occasion I chose to indulge myself by watching the food channel. On one particular time there’s this series where the show’s host goes around the world to highlight the traditional food of the country she visits. This time she went to Morocco. One of the food featured was M’hanncha or Moroccan Snake Cake. It is made by rolling filo pastry with almond paste filling, then coiled it to resemble a snake.
I was quite fascinated by M’hanncha. I thought I might try to make it since the ingredients are easy to get and it looks like it tastes amazing! But then I had a thought, how about tweaking it a little bit to suit ingredients that i already have in the pantry, and make it into snack size rather than one big cake?
I use semolina instead of almond meal for the filling. They are quite similar texture-wise. I also add vanilla and orange. Using vanilla beans and scraped the seeds really gives that extra flavour rather than using vanilla extract. But if you only have vanilla extract in hand , it will do just fine. You can also add more orange rind if you want your pastry taste more orange-y. By making it into snack size, it is easier for the kids to eat. They particularly like the crunchiness of the filo when they bite into it.
I still want to try to make the original M’hanncha one day. But for now, I do believe that this Vanilla Orange Semolina Filo Pastry tastes just amazing as its almond paste cousin.