Sunday, 25 January 2015

Greek New Year's Cake Recipe - Vasilopita


So, the New Year, 2015 is here. I hope you all enjoyed the festivities over Christmas and are back into the swing of things. It's been a while since I've posted as life has been incredibly busy for us (as I'msure it has been for everyone) and I have really missed posting. The reason I started this blog was to give something back to others, whether that be by sharing a recipe or suggested days out or activities to enjoy with your families. 

It may seem counter intuitive to post a cake recipe in January when this is the month that most start a health kick, however, this cake is not only delicious, it's not extremely indulgent either and is also a tradition for us Greeks. Vasilopita (St. Basil's bread) is a bread/cake hybrid infused with orange which is baked with a foil wrapped coin inside it; it is traditionally served on New Year’s Day. There are a few different versions of the biblical tale and the story of St. Basil and the tradition of baking a cake with a foil wrapped coin in it. When I was little, my folks always told me that the person who finds the coin will have success in the New Year ahead. 

I am sure you and your families will enjoy this recipe. It is my own and I hope you love it. 

Enjoy Cx

Serves:  10-12   Prep time:  15 mins   Cook time: 30 minutes + 30 minutes cooling time

Ingredients: 

110 ml vegetable oil 
150g caster sugar 
240g self-raising flour (sieved) 
2 tsp baking powder (sieved) 
3 large eggs 
150g flaked almonds (optional) 
Juice of 1 orange 
Rind of 1 orange 
2 tbsp brandy (optional) 
Grease proof paper 
X 1 pound coin (washed in hot, soapy water then wrapped up super tight in kitchen foil)

Method:

o Preheat your oven to 195c/170c fan/gas mark 5 and line a cake tin with the grease proof paper - I use a silicone Bundt mould to make this cake as it is designed to make turning out cakes really easy without the need to use grease proof paper - you can buy one here http://www.johnlewis.com/mastrad-silicone-savarin-baking-mould-dia-26cm/p813287
o Mix and beat the oil and the sugar
o If using flaked almonds, place them in a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin until most are broken up
o Place the almonds on a baking tray and place in the oven for around 5-8 minutes, checking regularly until they are golden brown colour (make sure they don't burn!)
o Whilst waiting for the almonds to brown, beat the eggs and then add this, along with the orange rind orange juice, and brandy to the oil and sugar mixture - mix well.
o Add your flour and baking powder to the wet ingredients and fold in gently.
o Take your almonds out of the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes then stir into your cake mixture
o Add your cake mixture to your tin lined with greaseproof baking paper.
o Lightly dust your foil wrapped coin in flour and put into the cake batter until it sinks in completely
o Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Check the cake is cooked  through by inserting a sharp knife or skewer into it. If it comes out clean, it's ready!
o Allow to cool for 30 minutes and then finish off with a dusting of sieved icing sugar to decorate