Friday, June 28, 2013

Hermes Cakes

This recipe is a greek spice cake I learned to make from my mother who learned from my great aunt Lilly.  I have changed the recipe somewhat.  My mother wasn't much of a baker, but my Aunt Lilly (whom I only sort of remember, she was actually my great Aunt who died when I was little) was an amazing cook.  I use this to make offering cupcakes for Hermes.  Also, they are delicious.  They're quite heavily spiced; feel free to cut back on the spices if you want.

1 cup pistachios, chopped up (almonds or walnuts are also ok, or you can just leave the nuts out entirely)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground mace (if you have it, otherwise, just double the nutmeg)
1/2 tsp black pepper, ground (seriously, it's good)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground mastic (if you have it.  if not, just skip it.  Greek and Turkish grocers carry it. It tastes kind of like pinesol flavored chewing gum, but in a good way.)
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup yoghurt (real greek yoghurt; if not, strain it overnight)
1 orange worth of zest (optional)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup melted butter or oil

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix dry ingredients except sugar.
Mix sugar and eggs.
Mix wet ingredients into sugar and eggs. Whisk well.
Mix wet into dry.  Mix well.
Pour into cupcake liners in cupcake tray.  You can also make it in a pan, but I like cupcakes.  
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until done.

A traditional Greek thing to do is bake a dime inside a cake for New Years.  Such a cake is called Vasilopita (King's cake).  Whoever gets the dime in their slice gets extra luck and sometimes a prize (or breaks a tooth)   Mercury dimes are fun for this.  Don't choke on the dime.  I think there's some kind of Christian folk-story about St. Basel and dime cakes, but I don't really know.  If you make it that way, it should really be round to be traditional.

No comments:

Post a Comment