Ingredients (serves 8-10):
250g soft butter
250g caster sugar
4 large organic eggs (room temperature), separated
Grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
100ml yoghurt or milk
4 tbsp brandy
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground mastic gum and mahlepi
½ tsp mixed spices
400g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
A few drops vanilla extract
For vanilla glaze icing:
250g icing sugar
6 tbsp milk
½ tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
Icing sugar or vanilla glaze
Numbers cut with ready to roll soft icing, any colour you like
200g chocolate (optional), melted over a pan of boiling water with a little butter
Blanched whole almonds (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 170c / 325f / Gas mark 3. Grease and line a 24cm round cake tin.
In a clean glass bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff.
In another bowl, cream the butter with an electric hand whisk until very fluffy and light. Add the sugar and whisk again, then gradually add the egg yolks, one at a time, with the orange zest, orange juice, yoghurt or milk, brandy, mastic, mahlepi, vanilla and spices.
Sift in the flour with the baking powder, a bit at the time, and mix lightly with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Fold in the egg whites, a bit at a time, and pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Don’t forget to insert the coin in the side of the cake, never the middle; the coin has to be covered with foil first. Gently level the top. If you are going to decorate the cake with almonds, add them.
Place the cake straight away in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes – do not open the oven too early or the cake will crack on top. After 25 minutes, open the oven gently and cover the cake with double greaseproof paper or foil.
Bake the cake for another 20 minutes and test it with a fine skewer; pierce in the centre, if it comes out clear, the cake is ready. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes.
Remove cake from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool. If you are dusting with icing sugar, do it while still a little warm. If you are covering it with chocolate, allow to cool completely before doing this. You could decorate the cake with icing sugar and use number stencils to add the current year or use some glazing.
To make the vanilla glaze, add all the ingredients in a small bowl except the icing sugar which you will add little by little while whisking very well to combine everything together.
Pour the glaze on top of your cake after it has cooled down completely and decorate it according to your likes.
Roll red or green (ready to roll icing) and cut the numbers of the year.
To dust with icing sugar, place a lace paper doily on top and sift icing sugar over it, carefully remove the doily and the pattern will remain on top of the cake. You can also use number stencils of the coming year or stars.
NB: Please be mindful when serving the cake to small children as the coin is a choking hazard.