Place the dates in a bowl. Add just enough water to cover the dates. Cover and let them soak for a few hours, or overnight. Next, drain the water, and remove the seeds and skin from the dates. Set aside.
Place the blanched almonds in a food processor. Process on high until you have finely ground almonds. Add the lemon extract, orange extract and dates and process until you have a smooth ball of almond paste.
Place the almond paste in a bowl, and mix in the egg yolk. Use a spoon to mix in the yolk until it's fully incorporated. Cover and chill until needed.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Unwrap the filo dough on your work surface and cover it with a damp tea towel.
Take one sheet of the filo dough and brush it with melted butter. Place a second filo sheet on top.
Take ¼ of the almond paste and form a ½ inch thick “snake” (see pictures in post) along the long edge of the filo dough. The almond "snake” won’t be as long as the filo dough, so create some wrinkles in the dough so that the almond paste log fits better.
Apply butter on the surface of the filo pastry, and wrap the almond “snake” with the pastry. Make sure that the filo pastry isn’t too tight or taut and there are some wrinkles in the wrapped dough.
Gently, bend the wrapped filo “snake” to form a coil. Use melted butter to stick the dough together to keep the shape. The wrinkles in the filo dough should make it easier to bend/coil the pastry. Keep the coiled pastry covered with a damp tea cloth, while you prepare the other pastry sheets.
Repeat this process with 2 more filo sheets and another ¼ of the almond paste. Wrap the resulting filo snake around the previous coiled pastry. Repeat this whole process two more times, with 4 more filo pastry sheets and the remaining almond paste.
Brush melted butter on the final filo sheet and fold it in half. Brush the top of this with butter, and carefully place the coiled up m’hencha pastry on top. Fold over the edges of the bottom filo to create a “base” for the Almond m’hencha. Then place the m’hencha on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Bake in preheated oven for about 30 - 40 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown in color.
While the m’hencha is baking, get the honey syrup ready. Once the pastry is baked, pour the honey syrup over the pastry as evenly as possible. Set aside for at least 1 hour, until the pastry has thoroughly soaked up syrup.
Serve warm, or at room temperature with cold whipped cream, whipped mascarpone or vanilla ice cream.
ORANGE BLOSSOM HONEY SYRUP
Dissolve the salt in the water and add it to a saucepan along with the honey and orange blossom water. Bring the honey to a boil over medium heat while stirring frequently (to prevent the honey from burning). When the honey starts to foam up, remove it from the heat. It can be used immediately or kept warm until needed.
Recipe from The Flavor Bender by Dini Kodippili
Citrus, Date and Almond M'hencha https://www.theflavorbender.com/citrus-date-and-almond-mhencha-orange-blossom-honey-syrup/