Last weekend when we had our buddies over for Moroccan food (as you may remember from the post regarding our Moroccan Mezze starter), we also decided to make a trio of Moroccan inspired desserts, including a traditional Almond Briouat - a recipe adapted from my Cuisine marocaine book.
I'm afraid I couldn't stay faithful to the original due to the fact I have no idea where I could source some of the ingredients required (Acacia gum? Pastilla pastry? Answers on a postcard please) but it all seemed to work OK.
I have to say we did run into a few difficulties when making these sweet little parcels of almondy delight, but now that I've made them once I think future ventures into the Briouat world will be much less challenging. Firstly I had to decipher some of the more unusual cooking-related French verbs I had never come across such as "monder" which can mean different things depending on which nut you are doing the action to... This resulted in me covering the ground almonds in hot water then realising I had no way of draining them.
We then designed a contraption comprising one sieve and one clean tea towel to attempt to drain said almonds in a process I now believe was completely unnecessary. Shan't be doing that again!
Anyway I really recommend Almond Briouats as a lovely dessert following a Moroccan meal to round it off with something nice and sweet, particularly if you're a fan of unusual desserts or a fan of marzipan as it does taste quite a bit like it. The crunchy filo pastry can mean the dessert is a little dry so a nice drizzle of honey and a glass of sweet Moroccan Mint Tea is just the ticket.
150g ground almonds
60g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tbsp orange blossom water
1 pack of filo pastry sheets
Honey, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Start by placing the almonds in a large bowl. This is where I stupidly started covering mine in hot water and the like but I don't think this is really necessary. Melt the butter and add to the almonds along with the sugar, the orange blossom water, and the cinnamon. If the mixture seems too dry to mix together, add a tablespoon or two of hot water.
Prepare the filo pastry sheets. Cut each sheet into 3 long rectangle shapes.
Take two rectangle of filo and layer them on top of eachother. Then, place a little triangle of the almond mixture in the bottom left-hand corner of the pastry.
Fold the filo sheets into a triangle shape until you have a little triangular parcel with the almond mix safely encased inside the layers of filo.
Spray a baking tray with cooking spray. Transfer the triangles to the baking tray to the oven and cook for around 10 minutes or until the filo is browned on one side. Then, flip the Briouats upside down and oven until the other sides are golden too.
In my Cuisine marocaine book it says to serve these bad boys cold and I will say they were very tasty when cold the next day, but I think they were nicer hot, so I guess it's up to you. Drizzle with a little honey before serving and have a nice pot of mint tea on the go too. Scrum!