Allyson Gofton - My Greek Table

Publish Date
Saturday, 4 October 2014, 12:00AM
By Allyson Gofton

My Favourite Books
This week I am sharing morsels from My Greek Table, by Maria Benardis, published by LANTERN an imprint of Penguin Books. With over 100 recipes, passed between generations of Maria’s family, this book is a pleasure to cook from, especially when I am entertaining. The flavours of Greek food – oregano, lemon, olives, marjoram and thyme are generously served up here creating unique tastes that differ so much from the Mediterranean cuisine of Greece’s many neighbours.   The prose is written with a warm passion and the book’s design reflects the very homely nature of Maria’s Greek heritage.  I recommend this book to all cooks who want to move beyond basil, tomatoes and garlic.

Saint Fanouris and Fanouropita
Little is known about Saint Fanouris though he has been revered as a saint for more than 500 years.  He is the ‘finder’ the Saint of all things lost and found. In late August each year versions of Fanouropita, a heavily cinnamon-spiced, olive oil and orange cake are baked and taken to  church - where they are blessed - to give thanks. 

Olive Oil And Orange Cake

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour

1 cup olive oil, virgin is best
1 1/4 cups orange juice, preferably fresh
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
3 cups self raising flour
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 tsp baking powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line the base and sides of a 23cm round cake tin.
  2. In a bowl stir together the oil, orange juice, sugar and cinnamon until the sugar dissolves some a little; it will not all dissolve.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into the liquid ingredients, add walnuts and stir all the ingredient together. Pour into the prepared cake tin.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes then turn down to 130 °C – 120 °C and cook a further 40-45 minutes. Cool in tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a cake rack to cool.
  5. Serve warm with cream. Or pour a syrup over the warm cake, while in the tin , made from 1 ½ cups water and 1 cup sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.

Cooks Tips

  • This cake is named after Saint Fanouropita or Phanouropita who is a Great martyr as opposed to your average every day martyr. His day in the Greek Orthodox church is the 27th August. The cakes are taken to the church on the day where they are blessed.

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