January 06, 2011

Vasilopitta (Greek New Years Cake)

This year I tried the cake type of Vasilopitta as the traditional version is not my favourite.  My mother always made the cake type of Vasilopitta - it was light and tasty with vanilla and orange flavours, dusted generously with icing sugar.  I just love this kind of cake but in my quest to try all things Cypriot and Mediterranean, I decided to try one of the more traditional recipes.  Of course I made some adjustments...I found the end result to be a little on the heavy side but it was still tasty.  My version of the recipe is as follows:

1/2 cup olive oil (I prefer to use plain one for cakes as it is milder than extra virgin)
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups organic plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup skimmed milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
Juice and rind of 1orange
Handful of sliced, blanched almonds
Icing sugar

Beat sugar and oil together then add eggs one at a time.
Sift flour and baking powder and slowly add to the mixture, while beating. 
Next add milk, vanilla, orange juice and rind.
Scatter sliced almonds into a buttered cake pan and then pour cake mixture on top. 
Carefully add your silver coin (remember to clean it and wrap in foil first) and bake in a moderate oven for approx. 1 hour.  The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool before transferring to a platter. 
Dust generously with icing sugar.

As the New Year rolls over, cut the cake and see who gets the lucky coin!  According to tradition, the coin will bring good luck in the new year to the person who finds the coin.