New year’s cake (Βασιλόπιτα)

Summary

This is one of the two (or more) traditional Greek “New Year’s Cakes” (βασιλόπιτα). It is basically an orange flavoured cake decorated with almonds and it should contain a coin!

This recipe is for creating a two 9″ cakes. Adapt for your needs.

Facts

  • Quantity: 2 x 9″ cakes, about 16 pieces each
  • Calories per cake: 3500
  • Calories per piece: 218

Ingredients

  • Margarine 185g
  • Eggs 6 medium
  • Flour 750g
  • Sugar 375g
  • Oranges 5 (both the zest and the juice)
  • Cognac 1 espresso cup
  • Baking soda 1tspn
  • Baking powder 2tspn
  • Vanilla essence 1tspn
  • Almonds 200g

Preparation

Tips

  • We will have to use a large bowl as our main bowl where the whole mix is prepared and a few smaller ones to separately prepare various things.
  • Use a thin greater to get the orange zest out, before you squeeze them.
  • Mix the orange zest with the flour and the baking powder in a separate bowl. Keep some flour separate (e.g. 1/5th) in case the dough becomes very thick and you don’t want to put it. This way you will not waste any zest
  • The cake is best done with a mixer beater that also has dough hooks as in the image on the right

Dough

  1. Put the margarine in a small bowl and beat it with the egg beater part of the blender until it becomes creamy and whitish. Then pour it in the main bowl.
  2. Put the egg yolks and the sugar in a bowl and mix them with an egg beater. Then pour in the main bowl and mix with the egg beater well.
  3. Pour the orange juice in a bowl and make sure that the bowl is half or less full. Then put the baking soda and start steering well. It will become frothy and inflate. Then pour the cognac here and the vanilla essence. Pour everything into the main bowl and mix well with the egg beater.
  4. Beat the egg whites for a bit but not too much. They have to be foamy but still liquid.
  5. Now you have to pour the flour and the beaten egg whites into the main bowl. Do it by alternating a little flour and then a little bit of the egg whites. In the beginning you will have to use the egg beater, but as the dough becomes thicker you will have to switch to dough hooks.

Almonds

The almonds have to be pealed and roasted. The process is simple.

  1. Boil some water and put the almonds in the pan. Boil for about 3-5 minutes. Take carefully one out and cool it under the tap to test if they can be pealed easily. If yes, stop boiling and cool with cold water.
  2. Peal all the almonds and place them on some foil or cooking pan.
  3. Roast them in preheated oven for about 5 to 10 minutes. Don’t let them become brown, the colour should be whitish slightly starting to become yellowish.
  4. Keep aside about 40 whole almonds to decorate the cake, if you want
  5. The rest cut them in half or into 4 pieces. This is optional, you may like them full.
  6. Mix the almonds in the dough

Bake

  • Preheat oven at about 220 Celsius
  • Use a 9″ pan for each cake.
  • Pour half the dough in each.
  • If you have different pans, make sure that the dough is about 3-5cm deep and that it has at least as much height to inflate without getting out of the pan.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on how strong your oven is.
  • Do not open the oven to check before 30 minutes have passed. After 30 minutes you may check.

 

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