I made this cake for Easter dessert. I had in the past used another karidopita recipe but I wanted to try this recipe, as I know that the Chiotes are renowned for their sweets. I remember many years ago on my first trip to Greece and going to Chios, I will never forget the lokoumades from a small hole in the wall; I have never had anything to match them.

As I have said many times in this column I had a mother in law who taught me most of what I know about cooking, she had come as an eleven year old from across the sea from the coast of Asia Minor to settle with her family in Chios, so I ask you, Asia Minor and Chios, is that not a grand combination for sweets.

When I made this cake for Easter I did not follow the syrup quantity to the latter, I made a smaller amount and as much as it was not as sweet it was not as moist as it should have been, which got me thinking that maybe a little less sugar in the cake recipe and the full quantity of the syrup.

Ingredients

1 cup of soft unsalted butter
2 cups milk
2 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups of walnuts that has be crushed into a course a walnut meal
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground cloves
2 cups of breadcrumbs
3 cups plain flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 coffee cup of brandy

Syrup

4 cups sugar
3 cups water
A little fresh lemon juice

Method

Heat oven to 180 C

1. Sift the flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder and bi carbonate of soda
2. In a mixer beat the butter adding the sugar gradually
3. Add the eggs one by one while still beating
4. Add the milk still beating
5. Add brandy
6. Add the walnut meal
7. Add the breadcrumbs
8. Add the flour mixture and mix on a medium speed do not over mix as the gluten will get hard and it makes a much heavier cake. At this stage it might even be wise to mix in the flour with a wooden spoon and not with the mixer.
9. Butter a large cake tin. I used a square 24 cm x 24 cm but a round one will do. Spring bottom is not recommended, as the syrup will run out
10. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Test with a skewer making sure the centre is cooked
11. When cooked pierce with a skewer to allow the syrup entry. Make sure that the cake is hot and the syrup cold or the syrup hot and the cake cold
12. When cooled turn out and decorate with crushed walnuts