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Greek New Year Cake

This is one of those simple looking cakes that's absolutely moreish so takes a little self-discipline once you start eating. Traditionally made for the Greek Orthodox New Year on January 14th following the Julian calendar. It's baked with a coin to represent good fortune and prosperity for the year. On New Years Eve it's sliced for the family, and whoever gets the coin is considered particularly blessed. Coins can be anything from a penny to a sovereign.

Texture and taste fall into that family of light sponges similar to the Italian Pandoro, the vanilla here giving it the edge according to Ana’Stasis.

Vasilopita – Greek New Year Cake

Ingredients:400g sugar360g plain flour240ml warm milk230g butter (room temp)6 eggs1 tbsp lemon juice1 tsp vanilla bean paste2 tsp baking powder½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the topping:25g flaked almonds30g sugar

Method:Preheat oven to 160c (fan), grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin.

In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar until lighter in colour. Add the flour and mix until you have a breadcrumb like consistency. Add the eggs one at a time beating between each addition.

Add the baking powder to the warm milk, mix and then add to the mixture, beat until all is combined. Add the bicarb of soda to the lemon juice, mix then fold this along with the vanilla paste into the mixture.

Pour this into the prepared tin, add your clean coin wrapped in foil and place in the oven.

After about 20 mins sprinkle the almonds and sugar over the top of the cake and then bake for a further 45 mins, until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Take out the oven and allow to cool fully.

The lucky person who gets the slice with the coin in will be blessed with good luck in the new year!


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