I don't usually go all Algerian when it comes to Eid baking, or any baking for that matter, but I wanted to do one Algerian style sweet or cake along with other simpler non-Algerian ones. So today, I'm sharing a recipe for M'khabez. If you've ever had North African sweets, you've probably tried something like this and just not known what it's called (very much like myself, who had to ask friends before posting this!) It's basically a nut-filled, syrup-soaked pastry, a lot like the other Algerian sweet pictures I've shared in the past:
They can look quite intricate at times (and possibly intimidating) but if you like to get arty in the kitchen, you might like to try this!
M'Khabez (makes approximately 30)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
a few drops of lemon juice
100g butter, melted and cooled
pinch of salt
orange blossom water
500g coursely ground almonds, peanuts or walnuts
300g icing sugar
white of one egg
Heat all of the ingredients. Dissolve the sugar and then simmer for about 45 minutes. It will thicken up. Allow the syrup to cool completely. Alternatively you can use a shop-bought syrup (Aseela) or Golden Syrup!
Combine the flour, butter and salt. Add small amounts of orange blossom water until it comes together to form a dough. You can supplement the orange blossom water with water or use water instead of it if it's not to your taste.
Combine the ingredients to form a nutty filling that comes together to be loosely shaped.
The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to putting these little guys together. The main thing is to try and get the pastry rolled out fairly thinly. I'm fortunate enough to have a pasta machine and this works brilliantly for thin pastry like this. Otherwise, roll it out as evenly and thinly as you can to form sheets. I've sandwiched some filling between two sheets of pastry and cut out squares and I've done the same with balls of filling and cut out the circular ones. I've also rolled out "sausages" of filling, then rolled the pastry around it, sticking everything together with egg white and then cut them at an angle. There are other versions in the pictures above.
I coloured small amounts of the pastry and used some flower-shaped cutters to get some extra decoration in!
Not the colours I was going for (teal and lime) ... but oh well!
Bake the formed cakes in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC for about 20 minutes, or until they are ever so lightly golden. Dip in to the syrup, pushing them down and letting the syrup soak right in, as soon as they come out of the oven!
Bon appetite! Bil hana wash shifa! Enjoy!
Share them with your friends and relatives with my Eid gift tags (a free download)!
This post is part of a little blog potluck where we are sharing recipes! Check out Rubina's delicious foodie blog where she's posted her Eid treats and Honey and Dates has made Firni (a type of rice pudding).