This recipe for Nine Ingredients cake (Fanouropita) was given to me by Despina Vassiliou, neighbour of my friend Evi in the village of Agia Paraskevi, Lesvos. She dropped it off at midnight, then went home to pluck a chook. These cakes are often made without eggs (during a fast period - see recipe in note below) and are named after St Fanourios, the saint who helps you find something you've lost. So next time you've lost something, bake one of these, and see if it turns up.
Preheat the oven to 180degC. Line a 24cm - 30cm cake tin with baking paper, or grease and flour it.
Sift together the dry ingredients into a bowl.
In another bowl, combine the oil, orange juice and Cognac. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, stirring well to combine.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar and light and thick.
Fold through the wet mixture, combining well.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 45 minutes.
When cool, dust generously with sifted icing sugar.
Note: this recipe for one without eggs was given to me by Kaki Chandros:
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon bi carbonate of soda
1 cup water
1 cup corn oil
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
500g SR flour
1 cup black Corinthian currants
3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat oven to 180degC.
Line a 28cm -34cm cake with baking paper.
Dissolve bi-carbonate of soda in the orange juice. Mix together wet ingredients.
Sift together dry ingredients, then fold them through wet ingredients. Stir through the currants and walnuts. Spoon into prepared tin.
Bake 45 - 60 minutes.