By Koula | Grecian Purveyor’s mum’s recipe
This walnut cake has Christmas written all over it, be it the delicious walnuts, the aromatic spices or the mouthwatering syrup that runs through it. It's a must go to cake that everyone loves during Christmas and definitely worth making.
It's, also, a very special recipe that my mother, Vasiliki shared with Christine from Kali Orexi Melbourne for her "Meri Month of May" campaign. And very close to my heart too, as it was my late father's favourite cake as well, despite that he wasn't big on sweets, but he'd always have a piece or two of karydopita.
This is a light and fluffy cake that uses breadcrumbs, which add body to the cake. The breadcrumbs are mixed into the batter gradually until the batter achieves a texture that is thick, yet still loose. A little patience also needs to be exercised to enjoy this cake - the karydopita needs to cool completely before the hot syrup is added. Then you add as much syrup as you like - less if you prefer the karydopita sweet and drier, more if you prefer it syrupy!
Thank you to mother, sister and niece, Vasiliki, Georgia and Zoe Dachri for making, documenting, photographing and sharing this much-loved family recipe of Karydopita from the other side of the world!
- 400gr finely chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons of high quality delicate EVOO, to mix the walnuts in - enhances and gives a richer walnut flavour
- 30gr of cinnamon
- 8 x 70g eggs - yolks and whites separated
- ˜350g fine breadcrumbs, added gradually (see instructions below)
- 400gr sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3gr of baking powder
- 60g semolina – use only if the karydopita batter is loose
- 400gr sugar
- 400ml water
- 2 tablespoons of Greek forest & flower honey mix into syrup
Preparing the karydopita
- In a medium bowl, stir the walnuts and cinnamon together, before adding the EVOO and mixing through
- Whisk yolks with the sugar till pale and thick
- Whisk the egg whites separately till soft peaks form
- Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture in batches
- Gently fold in the walnut mixture, vanilla extract and baking powder
- Add the breadcrumbs and gently combine – add enough breadcrumbs to form a thick batter, that is on the looser side
- If you have added all of the breadcrumbs and the batter is still very loose, then add enough semolina to tighten it a bit
- Lightly baste a 30cm diameter pan with EVOO
- Pour the batter into the pan and gently shake it flat
- Bake at 180ºC conventional for about 35-45 minutes, or until a test skewer comes out clean
- Allow the karydopita to cool completely
- Once cooled, cut the karydopita into diamond-shaped pieces ~ 4 x 5cm
Preparing the syrup
- Add the sugar and water to a small pot and bring to the boil
- Take the pot off heat and stir in the honey
- Ladle hot syrup slowly and evenly over the cooled and sliced karydopita – the amount of syrup you add will depend on personal preference
Serving the karydopita
Serve the karydopita with spoon sweets, such as cherry, whole wild fig, quince or figs filled with walnuts for the ultimate karydopita piece! And if you fancy some delicious tipple, then look no further than the Santorini Vinsanto dessert wine.
William Dachris | Grecian Purveyor
If you loved this recipe, then we have some more mouthwatering ones for your to try making and enjoy at home: