Friday, May 26, 2006
Tahinopita is Greek tahini cake -- a dense cake studded with raisins and nuts that tastes something like an enormous raisin cookie. It is "strict fasting" or "Lenten", meaning it contains no dairy, eggs, or oil and is suitable for "fasting" days in the Orthodox church.
makes one 8-inch cake
for the dough:
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
3 ¼ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. kosher salt
¾ tsp. cinnamon
¾ cup tahini (raw or roasted; roasted lends a nice flavor)
¾ cup orange juice
½ cup sugar
¾ cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
for the syrup:
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350º. Spray an 8-inch round springform pan (or cake pan) with nonstick spray and dust with flour. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and set aside. Place the tahini in a large mixing bowl and slowly drizzle in the orange juice while beating with an electric beater. Add the sugar and beat well for several minutes, until smooth and lighter in color.
Add the dry ingredients and mix well. The dough will be thick like cookie dough, so stop if your beaters get bogged down. Knead in the raisins and walnuts.
Press the dough into the prepared pan, using a spatula or slightly moistened fingers to press the dough into place and smooth out the top.
Bake for 35 to 38 minutes, until golden brown on top. Let the cake rest in the pan for several minutes, then remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
Now, you can eat the cake just like this, or dust it lightly with powdered sugar, but if you want to be really Greek about it you'll make a sugar syrup:
Boil the sugar and water together in a small saucepan for about 10 minutes to form a slightly thick sugar syrup. Drizzle the syrup liberally over the top of the cake and brush on the sides.
Cut into wedges and enjoy!