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M’hancha

This is a sweet treat made from filo pastry filled with chopped dried fruits, sugar and vanilla, then rolled up and baked. It has a Christmassy flavour, but perfect all year round, especially with a cup of tea or coffee.

Serves: 15
Time to prepare: 20 mins
Time to cook: 15 mins
Dietary requirements: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Vegan

Ingredients

  • 8 sheets of filo pastry (leave these in the packet until ready to use)

For the filling

  • 100g/3½oz vegan margarine, melted
  • 50g/1¾oz caster sugar
  • 50g/1¾oz glacé cherries, chopped
  • 100g/3½oz ground almonds
  • Zest and juice of one orange
  • 75g/generous 2½oz orange marmalade
  • 150g/scant 5¹⁄3oz mixed nuts chopped and lightly toasted
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ¼ tsp mixed spice Garnish
  • A little icing sugar
  • A few chopped nuts

Garnish

  • A little icing sugar
  • A few chopped nuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F/gas mark 4.
  2. Place half the margarine and all the remaining filling ingredients into a bowl and combine.
  3. On a large work surface (see chef’s tip below) place the filo pastry sheets in a row, overlapping by approximately 5cm.
  4. Spread the filling out in a line 10cm from the top. Quickly drizzle half of the remaining margarine over the pastry and filling.
  5. Fold over the left and right edges of the pastry to seal the ends. Carefully roll the pastry from top to bottom. This can be tricky, but don’t worry if the filo breaks. Once rolled into a sausage shape, carefully form into a coiled snake.
  6. Carefully transfer to a lined baking sheet and drizzle on the remaining margarine.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Transfer to a large serving plate and garnish with a few chopped nuts and a dusting of icing sugar, or alternatively a squirt of maple syrup. This is a sweet treat so only a small piece is needed. Start with the end of the ‘tail’ and work to the ‘head’!

CHEF’S TIP: You will need a large, clean work surface (e.g. long kitchen worktop) to make this on, so it’s worth clearing an area before starting. This cake will keep well for up to a week.

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