Greek Walnut Cake (Petimezopita)

walnut cakeRight now, my home smells like Autumn; it smells of cinnamon, cloves, and orange and a distant memory I can’t quite grasp. This walnut cake is resting and cooling (the hardest part of the process!) This is a delicious Greek cake made with grape molasses and olive oil so no nasty refined sugars. All credit for this goes to an excellent Greek lady called Deppy whose website is Greek Cooking Made Easy   I love her plant-based recipes (although she features all Greek recipes) and this is a winner! It’s fairly simple and I had all the ingredients in my store cupboard – the mix of spices makes this irresistible!

1.5 cups x Grape Molasses (Petimezi)
1.1 x cups Olive oil
3 x cups Self-Raising Flour, sifted!
3/4 cup x fresh Orange Juice
Zest x 1 Orange, about 3 tbsp.
1/2 x tbsp. Baking Soda
1/3 cup x Semi-Sweet Red Wine (I used Red Lable Wine from Tesco – which I use to soak my fruit for Caribbean Christmas cake)
1/2 x cup of finely or coarsely chopped Walnuts
1/2 x cup of raisins (optional)
4 tbsp x Sesame seeds (for the pan and for garnishing)
1 x tbsp. ground Cinnamon
1/4 x tsp. ground Cloves
1/2 x tsp. ground Nutmeg

Method – you will need to use a mixer
Preheat the oven 170 c
Grease a 24-inch spring form sponge tin.
Set up your free-standing mixer and in the mixing bowl add the olive oil, grape molasses and sweet wine, beat briefly to combine the ingredients.
Keep the mixer on the lowest speed and add the spices and the orange zest.
Dissolve the baking soda in the orange juice and add it to the rest of the ingredients.
(Make sure you sift the floor first – it’s important for the cake to rise)
Then add the flour, spoon by spoon, into the mixture, beating at low speed, until it is mixed well with the other ingredients.
Finally, add the chopped walnuts. At this point, you could also add the currants, if using. When combined stop the mixer.
Now get your pre-greased baking tin and sprinkle with about 3 x tbsp of sesame seeds on the bottom and the sides – this is a really nice touch and will make the cake look really attractive.
Empty the mixture into the baking pan and shake the pan a little to level its surface. The mixture should be a bit looser than a normal cake.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp of sesame seeds on top. 
Bake on the bottom shelf, for about 1 hour (will depend on the oven). Once the cake is pulled away from the sides of the tin and a toothpick comes out clean the cake is ready.
Let the cake cool down completely on your kitchen counter. Once cool, remove the pan and place the cake on a pretty cake stand.
Dive in!


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