Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Saint Fanourios Cake

On Guard! 

This praying mantis (also known as stick insect) is scarily adorable.

Imagine the patience it would take to hold this pose for hours.
He was only 2.5cm long and so beautiful.

My husband brought back recently a cake from a lovely bakery in Bulahdelah, ripe with walnuts and spices and I was reminded of this recipe given to me by an old Greek friend.  Not that I have lost anything yet but this cake is a Greek tradition as Saint Fanourios is the finder of lost objects and his Saints day is on August 27.  He can also apparently reveal the destiny of unmarried girls.  To petition the saint this ceremonial cake known as fanouropita must be presented as well as a votive offering and a silver effigy of the lost object.

I have actually lost my husband who is away for a week but I don't think cooking this gorgeous cake will bring him back any earlier than planned.  In fact I find every night these last four nights when the children are in their rooms and I am alone that I am keeping very busy, cooking and creating lotions with the television on in the background or talking with friends on the phone and staying up much later than normal.
What a  productive week it has been, the time is passing by quickly and hubby will be home very soon.
It may be that the magic of the fanouropita is working to bring him back quicker than expected.

I love reading about the Greek mythology, folk lore and saints, they have so much tradition.
When the tradition includes such heavenly delights as this one, it is even more enjoyable.

Saint Fanourios Cake

1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 1/2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup freshly squeezed organic orange juice
4 tablespoons brandy
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 free range eggs
1 1/2 cups castor sugar
Prepare a 20 x 30cm baking pan with melted butter and flour, or line with baking paper.
Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).
In a large bowl combine flour, walnuts, cinnamon and cloves.
Blend the orange juice, brandy and oil together until well combined.
In another bowl beat the eggs and castor sugar together until fluffy.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture and gently fold through until combined.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for approx 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let rest 10  minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
Dust with sifted icing sugar to serve.

Buon appetito, enjoy Merryn

I hope, that whatever you have lost, will now be found again.

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