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Kefalonian Almond Cake

When you visit Kefalonia, the biggest island in the Ionian Sea, you must try out the almond cake; the island’s local specialty. Its fluffy texture, the sweet syrup and the crunchy almonds will tickle your taste buds, making you think that nothing else is needed. Then again, locals usually serve the cake with some vanilla ice cream on top; voilà your summer indulgence!

You might notice that number 12 is repeatedly used in the recipe. It is said that this reveals the inhabitants’ strong religious faith, which refers to the 12 Gospels read on Maundy Thursday.

Nonetheless, the number 12 could also relate to Homer’s Odyssey as 12 were the tests Odysseus had to pass on his journey to Ithaca; 12 were the axes that his arrow had to go through; 12 were the days which Eurycleia had to wait until she told Penelope that her son Telemachus had left.
The Visit Greece team has found yet another delicious recipe which we are certain you’ll enjoy. 

12 eggs
12 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons chopped almonds
8 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 vanilla
1 shot brandy
lemon zest (one teaspoon)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
little butter for the pan

For the Syrup
1 ½ cup sugar
2 cups of water
a few cloves

Beat the sugar with the egg yolks. Whip the egg whites separately and make a meringue.
In the mixture of egg yolks and sugar, pour and blend alternately, one tablespoon of almonds, meringue and breadcrumbs, until all the ingredients have been used. Then add the cinnamon, vanilla and lemon zest, followed by baking powder, brandy and ground cloves.
Butter a baking pan, pour in the mixture and bake for 30 minutes at 180 °C.
Finally, prepare the syrup by boiling all the ingredients together. Wait for the syrup to cool down and then pour on the cake.

Bon Appétit!!!

Extra Tips:
You can also replace the water with orange juice to make the syrup. The cake can also be served without the syrup.
Special thanks to Mrs. Anna Stathatou for her recipe.

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