First of all, I'd like to wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year! In Greece we traditionally have the Vassilopitta cake at New Year. A coin or special good luck charm called the floori is placed in it and whoever gets the slice with this in it supposedly has good luck all the year. Slices are not only cut for the people there, but also for the House, God, Christ and whoever else you wish. Obviously if God or Christ's slice has the coin or charm, it doesn't mean that they're going to have good luck (!) but that you will feel their influence all year.
There are a few different ways of making Vasilopitta, and this is just one of them - which we like!
900g self-raising white flour
9 eggs – yolks and whites separated
240g butter at room temperature
Juice from 7 medium oranges
Grated rind from one orange
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons ground almonds
0.6g vanilla powder
100g icing sugar
Beat the sugar and butter in the mixer for 10 minutes.
Add the egg yolks one at a time and continue beating for another 10 minutes.
Add the juice, brandy, vanilla powder and rind gradually and continue beating.
Spread the baking powder to the flour through a sieve.
Add the ground almonds and then add the flour mixture to the other mixture, stirring gently with a spatula.
Beat the egg whites into a meringue, add to the mixture and combine them gently with a spatula.
Grease a round baking dish – 34cm diameter, 5cm height – and sprinkle some flour in it.
Place the mixture in the dish and bake in a pre-heated moderate oven for 75 minutes – or until a skewer placed in the centre of the cake comes out cleanly.
Insert a coin or small good luck charm wrapped in tin foil anywhere in the underside of the cake and transfer to a seasonal cake plate.
Place a stencil with the year (2009) on top of the centre of the cake and sprinkle well with icing sugar through a sieve.
Remove the stencil so that the year is showing clearly (see photo).
Eat And Enjoy!
Happy New Year!