Pistachio Nankhatai

Today I was feeling the need for a bake, so I made these my Pistachio Nankhatai. I have many different versions and flavour combinations some are wheat free, vegan, with nuts without but the great thing about these is that they are super easy to make and taste delightful. This version can be made using the following recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup plain flour 

1/4 cup chickpea flour

1/4 cup fine semolina

1tsp baking powder

1/2 cup of Icing sugar

1/2 cup of ghee melted

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

1/5 nutmeg freshly grated

Small pinch of Salt 

2tbsp of ground pistachios 

2tsp milk

Method
 

Preheat the oven to 180c

in a bowl add all the dry ingredients except the pistachios and combine 

Add the ghee and milk to the dry mix and combine with your hands to from a smooth dough if the mixture is a little wet add a further tbsp of chickpea flour

Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper 

Take pinch size bits of dough and roll into a balls, place on the lines baking sheet and slightly flatten the dough. (Roughly 35g)

With a knife cut a cross shape Ito the dough and sprinkle with the ground pistachio.

Bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes 

Remove from oven and leave to cool before removing from the baking sheet. 

Enjoy with a delicious cup of masala chai. 

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clementine, chocolate, and date m’hencha…an alternative christmas treat.

 

As I’m twiddling my thumbs until I start my new job next week, I’ve been looking at what ingredients I’ve got hanging about the kitchen and what deliciousness I can make. I first came across a recipe for M’hencha a couple of years ago but didn’t make it, although I was interested in making one at some point. Then this year I bought a date and orange one, it was delicious, the m’hencha was just on another level and for the last couple of months it’s been at the back of my mind that I need to make one. So I did and it turns out it’s really easy to make, which could be a little dangerous.

The dish served today is a spiced clementine, date and chocolate m’hencha, otherwise known as a snake cake from morocco. This M’hencha is a mix of nuts, dates, spices, and chocolate encased is crisp phyllo pastry, dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon. I’m really pleased with my first attempt and think it makes a rather nice alternative to a mince pie or piece of Christmas cake. I’ll definitely be making this later in the month for the festivities and I hope you do too.

Clementine, Chocolate and Date M'hencha
clementine, chocolate and date m’hencha

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 35-40 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 12 sheets phyllo pastry
  • 150ml clementine juice
  • Zest of 4 clementines
  • 200g date paste
  • 165g almonds
  • 50g pistachios, shelled
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 100g vanilla sugar
  • 80g icing sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 tsp green cardamom, ground
  • 1/4 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted

Decoration

  • 2 tsp icing sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon, ground

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180c

Grease and line a 10-inch cake tin

In a food processor place the clementine juice, zest, almonds, pistachios, cocoa powder,  date paste, vanilla sugar, icing sugar, egg white, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and orange blossom water, pulse the mixture to get a textured paste and place in a bowl.

To assemble the pastry, melt the butter and lay out a large length of cling wrap.

Unwrap the phyllo pastry, placing 4 sheets each over lapping short ends on top of the cling wrap.

Using a pastry brush work quickly and brush the pastry with the melted butter, ensure you brush between the over lapping edges. Then place a sheet of pastry over each of the buttered layer and repeat with the rest of the phyllo, making sure the top layer is also buttered.

Take the m’hencha filling; make a line of filling along the longest edge of the pastry nearest to you.

Using the cling wrap to help you start to turn the edge of the pastry over the filling and continue to roll, remove the cling film and discard.

Ensure the pastry seam is on the underside of the rolled pastry, brush with the remaining butter and gently coil the pastry around itself, at the end tuck the pastry slightly under the coil, place in the cake tin and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and cool in the tin.

When cooled, remove from the tin and dust with the icing sugar and cinnamon. Serve on its own or with some whipped cream and a mint tea.

 

persian orange cakes

There is no denying that I am a bit of a fan of Persian food. I’m seduced by its play with textures and intense flavours, there is a a certain depth from Persian food that satisfies the soul like no other.

Persian Orange Cakes were another popular recipe from my Persian pop up. These little cuties wowed so many customers, light to eat, sticky with a decedent scrumptious icing – what more would you need ?

persian-orange-cakes

Prep time: 35 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes 

Serves: 10

For the cake :

  • 2 large blood oranges
  • 300g almonds, roasted and ground
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 310g caster sugar
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cardamom, ground
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground

For the syrup:

  • Juice from 1 blood orange
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water

For the icing:

  • 250g mascarpone
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar, sieved
  • 1/4 tsp orange blossom water

For the decoration:

  • Orange segments
  • Edible rose petals
  • Crushed pistachio

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.

Line a muffin tin with holders.

Place the blood oranges for the cakes in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes.

Drain the water boiled water and repeat the process.

Remove the oranges from the water, chop into quarters, place in a food processor and blend until smooth.

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and pale, I use my Kitchen aid mixer to save my arm.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, add the ground almonds, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder and processed oranges to the eggs, use a large metal spoon to fold in the ingredients

Pour mixture into the muffin cases and bake for about 25 minutes until it’s golden on the top and a skewer comes out clean.

While the cakes are cooking make the syrup by placing the orange juice, sugar and water in a saucepan, heat over a medium heat until the mixture thickens.

Remove the syrup from the heat and add the orange blossom water.

Once the cakes are cooked remove from the the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes then drizzle over the syrup, be careful not to add too much of the syrup.

Leave the cakes to cool before icing.

To make the icing cream together the softened butter and sieved icing sugar until smooth and fluffy then cream in the mascarpone until smooth.

Spoon the icing onto the cakes and decorate with the orange segments, pistachios and rose petals.