Moroccan Butternut M'Hanncha

Also known as 'snake cake', m'hanncha is a savoury Moroccan dish that's made for sharing. Try yours today with our take on this Arabic classic
Moroccan Butternut M'Hanncha
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Moroccan Butternut M'Hanncha
May 28, 2019
Preparation Time 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time 40-45 minutes

RECIPE BY Katelyn Allegra
FOOD STYLING BY Katelyn Allegra & Cassandra Upton
PROP STYLING BY Katelyn Allegra, Cassandra Upton & Sophia-Maria Eygelaar


1 large butternut, peeled and cubed
30g butter, cubed
3 cloves garlic, crushed
10g sage leaves
200g spinneysFOOD Baby Spinach, wilted
250g fresh ricotta
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp spinneysFOOD Fine Cumin
½ tsp fennel, ground
½ tsp spinneysFOOD Fine Cinnamon
50g sultanas
Generously brush each lamb rack with harissa paste, then cover with the pistachio crumb, patting it all over the top and sides.100g almonds, salted and toasted, chopped
6-8 sheets phyllo pastry
60g butter, melted
4 tbsp spinneysFOOD Honey


  • 1

    Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 6

  • 2

    Place the butternut, butter, garlic cloves and sage leaves in a roasting dish and season well with salt and pepper

  • 3

    Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden and cooked through

  • 4

    Take out of the oven and mash gently – you don’t want it to be completely smooth. Allow to cool

  • 5

    In a large bowl, combine the mashed butternut with the wilted spinach, ricotta, lemon juice and zest, spices, sultanas and almonds. Stir well to combine

  • 6

    Place a sheet of cling wrap, about 50cm long, on the counter. Spoon the filling evenly along the length of the cling wrap, leaving a 2cm edge. Pull the edges of the cling wrap over the filling and tightly wrap it into a long sausage. Tie the edges and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firmed up

  • 7

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4

  • 8

    To assemble, unroll the phyllo sheets. Lay two damp dish towels on a clean counter with the longest side facing you. Working quickly, place 3 phyllo sheets side by side, with the shortest edges overlapping one another. Brush the overlaps with water and seal. Lightly brush the sheets with butter then, in the same way, layer another 3 sheets of phyllo next to each other, sealing the edges with water. Repeat the process again with butter and phyllo. Save the remaining sheet of phyllo for patch work

  • 9

    Unwrap the filling and place it along the length of the phyllo pastry leaving a 2cm edge

  • 10

    Brush the opposite long edge with a little butter. To roll, use the tea towels to help you roll the pastry up and away from you into a large cylinder, keeping it on the damp tea towel at all times

  • 11

    Brush a large baking tray with butter and roll the pastry tube into a spiral

  • 12

    Brush the top of the pastry with melted butter

  • 13

    Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden and crispy

  • 14

    Serve with a drizzle of honey


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