Moroccan Serpent Cake
|Filo pastry sheets||8 , thawed if frozen|
|Butter||2 Ounce, melted (50 gram / 1/4 cup)|
|Egg||1 , beaten|
|Ground cinnamon||1 Teaspoon|
|Icing sugar||1 Tablespoon (confectioners, for dusting)|
|For almond paste|
|Butter||2 Ounce, melted (50 gram/1/4 cup)|
|Ground almonds||8 Ounce (225 gram / 2 2/3 cups)|
|Almond essence||1⁄2 Teaspoon (extract)|
|Icing sugar||2 Ounce (50 gram / 1/2 cup, confectioners)|
|Egg yolk||1 , beaten|
|Rose water/Orange flower water||15 Milliliter (1 tablespoon)|
1. To make the almond paste, mix the melted butter with the ground almonds and almond essence in a bowl. Add the sugar, egg yolk and rose or orange flower water, mix well and knead until soft and pliable. Chill for 10 minutes.
2. Break the paste into 10 even-size balls and, with your hands, roll them into 10cm/4in sausages. Chill again.
3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ Gas 4. Place two sheets of filo pastry on the work surface so that they overlap slightly to form an 18 x 56cm/7 x 22in rectangle. Brush the overlapping pastry edges to secure and then lightly brush all over with butter. Cover with another two sheets of filo in the same way and brush again with butter.
4. Place five almond paste sausages along the lower edge of the filo sheet and roll up the pastry tightly, tucking in the ends. Repeat with the remaining filo and almond paste, so that you have two rolls. Brush a large baking sheet with butter. Shape the first roll into a loose coil, then transfer to the baking sheet. Attach the second roll and continue coiling the filo to make a snake. Tuck the end under.
5. In a bowl, beat the egg with half the cinnamon. Brush over the pastry, then bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown. Carefully invert the snake on to another baking sheet and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes more.
6. Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar, then sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon. Serve warm.