Moroccan Baklava Snake

Sometimes you just need a showstopping dessert for the end of a great meal.  I had a few friends over for a Middle Eastern dinner party, and wanted to end with this dessert – a Baklava Snake.  I like to hide the dessert away before friends arrive, and then present it dramatically before cutting into it.

This recipe brings all the gorgeous flavours of Baklava to a much-less-sticky phyllo dessert, that feels light at the end of a big meal.  I learned it as part of a Moroccan cooking class I did with Bonnie Stern, and as is true for all of her recipes, I always trust them to turn out well.

Unlike a lot of other phyllo recipes, this one is very forgiving.  You can feel confident that even if you tear a sheet, or can’t separate two sheets so they end up stuck together, that the dessert will turn out well and still look gorgeous when you’re done.  Trust me, my phyllo skills are sorely underdeveloped.

Moroccan Baklava Snake

Adapted from Bonnie Stern

  • 1 c. raw sugar (you can also use regular, white sugar here, but I don’t keep any around)
  • 2 c. toasted whole almonds
  • 2 c. shelled pistachios
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp. rose water
  • 3 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 lb. phyllo pastry, brought to room temperature
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a food processor, blitz sugar until fine (about 30 seconds).  Add nuts and cinnamon, and process until finely chopped (be careful not to go overboard and create nut butter here).  Remove 2 Tbsp of this mixture, and keep aside for topping.  Add rose water and orange juice, and process until the mixture just comes together.

Very carefully lay out one sheet of phyllo, with the long side facing you.  Cover the other sheets of phyllo with a layer of plastic wrap, covered with a damp tea towel.  Using a pastry brush, brush your working sheet of phyllo with melted butter, then top with a second sheet of phyllo and brush that with butter.

Now for the fun, you will be making your first ‘snake’ – take approximately 1/2 c. of the nut mixture, and along the long edge of the phyllo closest to you,  lay it out in a long line, leaving about an inch at either end.  Roll the phyllo around the nut mixture (away from you), fold the edges over, and continue to roll to the opposite end of the phyllo sheet, brushing with butter a few times along the way.  To make a more flexible ‘snake’, and a beautiful finished product, press each end of the snake in towards the centre, you will see it crinkle along the way.

Place on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper, and roll into a spiral.

Create more snakes, and add to the spiral (working from inside-out) until your dessert is big enough — I usually end up with 7 or 8 snakes total.

Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg, then sprinkle with the reserved nut topping.

Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and let cool.

Slice into wedges (like a pie), and serve with whipped cream.

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Categories: Dessert, Vegetarian

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6 Comments on “Moroccan Baklava Snake”

  1. December 4, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    I’m making the truffle version tonight 🙂

  2. December 5, 2009 at 9:23 am #

    I’m just about to post that recipe! 🙂
    Hope they went well!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pistachio Almond Truffles « The Kitchen Operas - December 5, 2009

    […] Recipes ← Moroccan Baklava Snake […]

  2. Stinging Nettle & Feta Phyllo Nests « The Kitchen Operas - June 4, 2010

    […] Moroccan Baklava Snake — a good excuse to use the other 1/2 of the phyllo package […]

  3. Dark Chocolate Pavlovas with Saffron Vanilla Crème « The Kitchen Operas - June 28, 2010

    […] It’s something I learned to do from a Moroccan cooking class with Bonnie Stern (remember the Baklava Snake?  same crème, now with saffron), and have been doing ever since as my standard dessert […]

  4. Potato Phyllo Snake | The Kitchen Operas - September 5, 2010

    […] easiest phyllo wrapping that I do is the method I use to create my Moroccan Baklava Snake: I use two sheets of phyllo to make a butter-brushed tube filled with tasty filling, then scrunch […]

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