Yesterday I made this special New Year’s Eve cake with my mother and my daughter for the first time together at our family beach house.
It was a lovely traditional ritual for three generations of women in our family to prepare this cake, each of us kneading the dough. It is baked with a ‘lucky’ coin to celebrate St Basil’s feast day which we cut at midnight after exchanging kisses to see who got the ‘good luck’.
I thought I’d share it here as a very traditional Greek recipe and new year’s tradition which you may like to try with your family.
*4 cups of plain flour
*4 eggs, lightly beaten
*1 cup of sugar
*1 cup of milk
*1 -250g pkt of unsalted butter
*2Tbspn of baking powder
*1pinch of salt
*1 pinch of cinnamon
*rind of 1 lemon or orange or both!
*blanched almond halves for decorating.
*1 egg yolk for glazing
- Melt butter, sugar & milk in a small saucepan until dissolved.
-Place flour in a large bowl, mix the salt, spices & baking powder into the flour and then make a well in the centre.
-Fold milk mixture in from centre then add eggs and rind in last.
-Mix by hand and knead to a very soft dough. Cover with a warm blanket/tea towel and leave to double. (Approx an hour)
-Knead the dough and mould into a round shape and place in a large 25cm round deep cake tin which has been greased with olive oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
-Wrap a silver/gold coin in aluminium foil and drop into the dough.
-Decorate the top with almonds arranged in the numerals of the New Year.
-Glaze with the beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with more sesame seeds.
-Bake in 175*C oven for approx 1 hour.
Enjoy and Happy New Year!