baked goats cheese cigars with honey and thyme

baked goats cheese cigars with honey and thyme

This absolutely stunning recipe comes from Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook: Cosmopolitan Cook – her brand new and original TV series which starts on the 24th of June on BBC Lifestyle channel. Rachel travels to a few interesting cosmopolitan destinations in seek of culinary inspiration. As a big fan of armchair travel TV mingled with food, I cant wait to see what she comes up with when visiting places like Istanbul, Stockholm and the Amalfi Coast.

last week I was invited by the BBC to attend the launch of their new season of programming in South Africa. Across all the BBC channels it looks incredibly exciting. You can check out the full details of what to expect in the coming months by clicking here.

From a food perspective, other than Rachel Khoos Cosmopolitan Cook series, the award-winning Great British Bake Off returns for a fourth series this July. Queen of Cakes Mary Berry and master baker Paul Hollywood will be judging 13 passionate bakers as they face the infamous Signature, Technical and Showstopper challenges. The Great British Bake Off series 4 saw phenomenal ratings in the UK, with 9.4 million viewers tuning in to watch the final. We are a little behind here in SA, but this just means that we have back to back Bake Great British Bake Off’s coming our Way.

Rick Stein travels through India and Jamie Oliver hooks up with Jimmy Doherty to open a pop up Cafe in a series called Food Fight Club.

I don’t know about you but I’m getting ready to do some serious TV watching this winter. Here is where to find the full schedule  on the Lifestyle channel in case you don’t want to miss a thing.

While I was at the launch I was privilidged to meet Rachel and ask her a few questions along with other media. She is exactly like she is on TV. Down to earth and highly approachable. I was so intersted to hear about her background and how she landed up with her own TV shows and cookbooks. It turns out she has worked really hard. Studied art and design, and then went on to work as a PR in the fashion industry before heading down a culinary path. I was super impressed to hear that she is very hands on in the production of her books and shows. She really brings a very fresh and quirky feel to her work.

You can follow Rachel along all her creative and culinary endeavours on her stunning website

baked goats cheese cigars with honey and thyme

I am smitten with this recipe. Phyllo pastry, goats cheese and thyme are among my favouirite ingredients. I loved these with an extra drizzle of honey at the end. Dont be shy with it. Rachel serves them with a winter salad which sounds lovely and it is included with her recipe.

Recipe – Rachel Khoo – Cosmopolitan Cook


baked goats cheese cigars with honey and thyme



  • 12 rectangular filo at sheets (depending on the size of your sheets)
  • Leaves from 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 125g soft goat’s cheese
  • 4 tsp honey (lavender if possible)
  • For the salad:
  • ½ firm galia melon
  • 1 small cucumber, or half a large cucumber
  • 6 radishes, trimmed
  • For the dressing:
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Unroll a sheet of filo horizontally on the work surface.
  3. Cut the filo sheet in half lengthways, and in half crossways to make 4 rectangles measuring approximately 15 x 20 cm. Repeat. Lay them all out on the work surface.
  4. Brush the rectangles generously with butter, ensuring that about 1 tbsp is saved to brush the tops.
  5. Sprinkle some thyme leaves along the long length of each pastry rectangle and fold it in about 2cm to encase it. Crumble a line of goat’s cheese in a line along the opposite short side of the pastry. Drizzle the honey just inside the goat’s cheese of each pastry. Starting at the goats cheese end, roll the pastry once over the goats cheese and carry on rolling all way to the thyme, sealing the join.
  6. Roll the pastry over the goat’s cheese and all the way down to the thyme.
  7. Repeat the process to make 4 cigars.
  8. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush once more with the remaining butter. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and crisp
  9. In the meantime, make the salad by using a mandolin or flat y-shaped vegetable peeler to julienne the cucumber (I usually scoop and discard the seeds out too) and the melon flesh. Slice the radishes thinly into rounds, place them all in a bowl (don’t season til later or it becomes wet). You can just slice the radishes into rounds. Season.
  10. Once the goat’s cheese cigars bundles are cooked, toss your salad with the dressing and a season lightly and place on the centre of your plate. Serve the cigar perched on top.
  11. Get ahead
  12. This dish is best made just before serving.



Filo sheets dry out really quickly. Be sure to store them well wrapped in cling film with no air contact.

Be gentle when brushing the sheets as they can tear easily.

You can flavour the goat’s cheese with any other dried herbs or spices that take your fancy, a sweet and savoury combination works well.
Cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, ground cumin and sprinkle of chilli flakes. Basil.

You can also try a spoonful of your favourite chutney or caramelised onions in place of the honey.

baked goats cheese cigars with honey and thyme

I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.

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I can also be found enthusiastically pinning beautiful food images on Pinterest, and snapping pics of my life in Cape Town and what I eat on Instagram



  1. These look scrumptious. I am not fond of goats cheese but I am going to try these.

  2. Sam

    HI Susan – you could try with blue cheese too.

  3. Oh wow, these are stunning, and that salad sounds equally amazing. That honey drizzling photo is out of control.

  4. Wowwwwwww these look so delicious! Simply have to try them, sooner rather than later!

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  6. Hi Sam,

    Do you have a date when the Great British Bake Off is starting here? Look on the website and could’nt find it.

  7. clearly I need step by step photographs because I am re-reading the rolling of the pastry and where the thyme and cheese go and can’t work it out!

  8. Sam

    Hi Colleen, you roll the thyme leaves on one end and fold the pastry over (a flap) and you lay the goats cheese on the other end then then roll up from there. Whne you get to the thyme end you will roill that all under.

    If this is too tricky to figure out – just scatter the thyme leaves over the goats cheese and roll it over once. Drizzle the honey and then contine to roll remembering to tuckin hte sides.

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  10. Sam

    Hi Martha Im not really understabding your question? Are you wanting to convert the grams? You will find a conversion chart on my site. I work on a metric system.

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  13. Any advice on freezing these and how you would adjust cooking for that? We loved these and I would love to freeze some to send home with my sister. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. Sam

    Hi Sara, They might me ok to freeze before, definitely not after baking, but not 100% sure.

  15. Debbie G

    I work in a cheese department and this is a great recipe. I’ll be trying it tomorrow!

  16. Do this taste nice cold? And will they stay crispy for the next day?

  17. Sam

    Hi. yes they taste quite nice the next day and if you leave them out they retain some of their crispiness. Dont put tnem in a pastic container or in the fridge. You can always pop them back in the oven at 180C for 10 minutes to crisp / warm them up again.

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  23. Hi,you mentioned that you crumble the cheese on the opposite short side , does it mean the thyme will be on the side when rolling up?

  24. Sam

    Hi – I just read it again and it doesn make ssence. Sprinkle the thyme down on length. Fold over thew pastry to encase it. on the opposite side of this thyme side – sprinkle the cheese, roll it all up. so the thyme and the cheese will run down the same length of the cigar

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  28. Eleni Williams

    I made these and they were divine! I pipped room temperature goat cheese using a pastry bag and it helped make assembly much easier as the goat cheese was messy. Great recipe, this is going in my recipe box!!

  29. Sam

    I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe Eleni and agree, goats cheese can be very messy.


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