cigares aux amandes
Moroccan Almond Cigars
Almond cigars are a traditional North African pastry prepared with almond-filled brick dough, that is fried and topped with honey syrup.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Moroccan, North African, Vegetarian
Author: Vera Abitbol
Ingredients
  • 12 large sheets of brick dough
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 egg white , beaten
For the almond paste
  • 10 oz. raw almonds , peeled
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
For the syrup
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • ½ freshly squeezed lemon
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
  • 4 tablespoons liquid honey
Instructions
Almond paste
  1. Place the almonds in a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Bring to a boil and stop cooking after a couple minutes.
  2. Drain the almonds and place them between two thick linens by tapping them to dry them well.
  3. Place the almonds in the bowl of food processor, add the icing sugar, orange blossom water and lemon zest and mix until obtaining a smooth and homogeneous paste. Pour the dough into a bowl, add the slightly beaten egg white and knead well.
  4. Let stand 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
  5. Then form 2-inch sticks and set aside.
Syrup
  1. Pour the sugar into a nonstick pan and cover it with water.
  2. Add lemon juice and orange blossom water.
  3. Place the pan on low heat and, using a wooden spoon, stir once (not more), when the sugar is boiling.
  4. Cook gently until reaching a temperature of 220 F, for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. When the sugar reaches a temperature of 195 F, stir in the honey and stir the pan by the handle (do not stir with a spoon).
Folding the cigars
  1. Cut each sheet of brick dough into 3 equal triangles.
  2. Place a stick of marzipan, about ½ inch from the edge of the triangle.
  3. Fold over each end by folding them on the stick.
  4. Begin to roll the cigar starting with the rounded edge.
  5. Close by brushing with beaten egg white to stick.
Frying
  1. Heat a large volume of oil in a non-stick pan (avoid stainless steel) until the temperature reaches 340 F.
  2. Fry the cigars over medium heat, turning them occasionally until golden brown.
  3. Drop them as you go in a colander.
  4. Dip the still hot but non-burning cigars in the hot but not burning syrup and place them on an oiled parchment paper to cool them.
  5. Wait until they are completely cool to keep them in a cool place in a metal or glass container.
Recipe Notes
  • The cigars freeze perfectly once cooled and the syrup is preserved for a long time in the refrigerator or in the freezer. When you get them out of the freezer, you can re-dip the cigars in the warmed syrup while not waiting for them to thaw.
  • In order to obtain cigars of a beautiful golden color, prepare raw carrot sticks and place one or two pieces in the frying oil. Regularly change the pieces of carrot throughout the frying.
  • The frying temperature should be kept around 340 F.