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Recipe for family meals :

Baklava Cigars

This recipes comes from Dancer and Graphic artist Martin James. Martin, who originally comes from New Zealand, is now living with his wife and children in Copenhagen as he is currently principal Dancer with The Royal Danish Ballet. You will be able to find out more about Martin when his Biography page is published.

Being so gifted it seems unfair that Martin should also be talented in the kitchen as well but he has agreed to share some of his recipes with us which is great news.


1 1/2 cups (150g) walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup (80g) blanched almonds, finely chopped
1/4 cup (55g) castor sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
10 sheets filo pastry
150g unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon blanched almonds, finely chopped, extra

1 lemon
1 cup (220g) castor sugar
1 cup (250ml) water
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves

  • Combine nuts, sugar and spices in bowl.
  • Cover pastry with damp tea-towel to prevent drying out until you are ready to use it. Cut 1 sheet of pastry crossways into 3 even strips, brush each strip with butter. Spoon 3 level teaspoons of nut mixture into a pile on 1 end of each strip, leaving a 3.5cm (1 1/2") border. fold in sides, brush with butter, roll up tightly to form a cigar shape.
  • Repeat with remaining pastry, butter and nut mixture.
  • Place cigars onto greased oven trays, brush with remaining butter, bake in moderate oven about 12 minutes or until lightly browned; cool on trays.
  • Place cigars in single layer in shallow pan, pour over warm syrup, cool to room temperature.
  • Sprinkle with extra nuts and extra cinnamon.


  • Using vegetable peeler, peel rind thinly from half the lemon.
  • Combine sugar and water in pan, stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved.
  • Add rind, cinnamon and cloves to pan, simmer, uncovered, without stirring, 2 minutes; cool slightly.

Makes 30

Martin James