Yummy Traditions 101: Vasilopita

What? It’s the 13th January already? It feels like it was yesterday when I got to open my Christmas presents (about 285 books) –in Greece we open them on the first day of the year, which is also Saint Basil’s day. Saint Basil is the Greek equivalent of Santa Claus. Despite the presents the best part of January 1 is the vasilopita, literally St. Basil’s pie, a cake which contains a hidden coin. Whoever finds the coin is supposed to have good luck for the rest of the year –which is pretty much, erm, another 364 days? Good one.

Since I can never had enough of this cake, I decided to bake one for my friends in Germany, as well. Watching adults acting like little children in the search of the coin is simply adorable!

Recipe varies from family to family and sometimes I don’t even use the same recipe twice. However, the following one seems to be a total success, so apart from using it repeatedly I felt like sharing with you on the blog. It’s from one of my favorite food blogs, Food Junkie. Apart from beautiful photos and outrageously delicious dishes, this blogger writes not only in Greek but also in English which is perfect for international readers. 

Shall we begin?

INGREDIENTS serves about 10 (for a 30cm round cake tin)
§  250 gr butter or margerine at room temperature
§  400 gr sugar
§  240ml milk
§  500gr self raising flour
§  100ml brandy/cognac
§  3 eggs
§  zest of two oranges
§  icing sugar for decorating

1.      With a hand or standing mixer cream together the butter and sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
2.      Add the eggs one by one and keep beating.
3.      Add the milk slowly (your mixure might curdle, but dont worry, it will be fine when you add the flour),  then the brandy and orange zest.
4.      Stop beating and slowly add the flour with the help of a wooden spoon. You should have a nice magma-like batter.
5.      Preheat the oven at 180 C. Pour cake batter into a round 30cm prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. This cake is nice if slightly underbaked, because it keeps its moisture.
6.      To serve: dust with icing sugar.

This is mine. No, the phot doesn’t date back to 2004, even though it was a beautiful era.

Bon appétit !

If there’s any left -highly unlikely, vasilopita is the ideal cake for a quick brunch or tea time!

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