With only 9 easy ingredients, chef Maria Loi shares her recipe for Fanouropita, the cake known throughout the Greek world as the Cake for Lost Items.
Traditionally, it’s made every year on the saint’s feast day, August 27, or as needed when an item is lost.
Although it’s not on the menu at her signature Loi Estiatorio in Midtown Manhattan, the Greek-born chef remembers the tradition every year and bakes Fanouropita and shares it with her guests as a way to share her Greek traditions that she grew up experiencing.
Loi is the author of the popular HarperCollins book The Greek Diet, which has recently been released in the Greek and Portuguese languages and is soon preparing for an Australian release.
Her pasta products are available in Whole Foods, and she’s busy preparing a whole line of more food products and cookware that will be released this year.
In addition for cooking nightly for guests, Loi has cooked for President Barack Obama at the White House and has participated in numerous philanthropic efforts in the city, and supports children’s charities in her native Greece.
4 cups of all-purpose flour
1½ cups of orange juice
1¼ cups of granulated sugar
1 cup of Greek olive oil
1 cup of walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup of black raisins
¾ cup of brandy
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Soak the raisins in brandy for approximately 30 minutes; preheat the oven to 320 F.
While the raisins are soaking, sift the flour into a large mixing bowl; divide evenly into two large mixing bowls.
Slowly add the orange juice, followed by the olive oil into one of the bowls with flour, mixing thoroughly until fully combined; add the brandy and raisins, and mix again.
Reserve 3 tablespoons of sugar, and add the remaining sugar and walnuts to the batter, mixing to fully combine.
In the second bowl with remaining sifted flour, add the baking powder and ground cinnamon, and stir to combine.
Slowly incorporate the dry ingredient bowl into the bowl with the batter, and mix until combine.
Pour cake batter into a parchment-paper lined spring-form cake pan coated with olive oil; bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, then remove to sprinkle the top with the reserved sugar. Return to oven for another 5-10 minutes; remove, and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
Καλή επιτυχία – Good Luck, may you find your lost things!
Since you’re here… I have a small favor to ask.
More and more people than ever before are reading The Pappas Post and despite increasing costs to maintain the site and provide you with the quality content that you deserve, I will never “force” you to pay for our website or add a paywall. I believe in the democracy of the internet and want to keep this site and its enriching content free for everyone. But at the same time I’m asking those who frequent the site to chip in and help keep it both high quality— and free. We’ve implemented a “free-will” annual subscription for those who want to support our efforts. I guess it’s fair to call it a philotimo subscription… because you don’t have to do it but it’s really the right thing to do if you love the site and the content we publish. So if you like The Pappas Post and want to help, please consider becoming a “philotimo subscriber”. Click here to subscribe. If you’d rather make a one time donation, we will gladly accept any amount, with appreciation. Click here to donate any amount.