Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Karythopita - Greek Walnut Cake
For a long time I have never been a successful cake baker. I think I have been rushing the recipes, and therefore not giving the poor cake a chance to become what it should be. My other dilemma is that I do not make enough Greek dishes or desserts, which is a real shame considering both my husband and I are proud Greeks. So armed with a Greek cookbook (that my sister in law lent me), I was ready to tackle a Greek dessert.
Karythopita is a spiced walnut cake topped with a sugar syrup. It is a truly moist and delicious treat that my mom has mastered , thanks to a great recipe from one of my aunts. Unfortunately, I don't know that recipe, so I used a recipe found in Greek Cookery - 200 Mediterranean Flavors. I really needed the recipe to workout since I was going to serve it to my aunt who was in from Greece, and lucky for me, it was very successful -- phew!
Beat 1 cup of olive oil with 1 1/2 cups of sugar. To this, add 6 eggs, 1 cup milk,3 cups ground walnuts, 1 tbs cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. Then add 2 cups of flour that have been mixed with 2 tsp baking powder. Add this batter to a greased baking dish and bake in a 350° oven for about 45 minutes.
While the baked cake is still hot, poke a bunch of holes over the top with a toothpick for the syrup to soak through.
For the syrup, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, and then add 2 cups of sugar. Boil for 5 minutes to create a light syrup. Pour the syrup over the cake while the cake is still nice and hot. Let sit, and cut after it cools.
I was really happy with this recipe. I used a Corning Ware dish, but I would suggest using a real cake pan or Pyrex dish for better results. As well, I think I should have left the cake in for a bit longer (for some reason I removed it after 35 mins, but another 5-10 mins would have been fine) My mom also mentioned that she uses semolina in addition to the regular flour, and the cake turns out more airier. I will definitely keep all of this in mind for Karythopita : Part 2!