Few things are as good as homemade cakes, especially a traditional one made by a master baker. Our friend Esther Psarakis knows her way around a Greek kitchen, making wonderful fresh dishes daily at her shop in New Jersey. This rich and fragrant cake is topped with a syrup built around an exceptional artisan-made Ta Mylelia Honey Dessert with Nut and Raisins that we love. It takes this great recipe straight to Mount Olympus to please even the most finicky of the ancient gods. Ta Mylelia Water Mill makes small amounts of their exceptional products with age-old methods and love of tradition.
For the cake:
2 ¼ cups Walnuts, finely ground
¾ cup Plain dry Bread crumbs
¼ cup, sifted All-purpose Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp. Ground Cloves
1 tsp. Grated Orange zest
5 Tbsp. Butter
¼ cup Sugar
4 Eggs, separated
2 Egg whites
¼ cup Milk
To prepare syrup: In a heavy saucepan, heat the sugar, honey, and water over medium heat. When the sugar is dissolved, add cloves and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, just before removing from heat. Remove cloves, remove pan from heat, and cool completely.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly butter a 9-10 inch round spring form pan.
In a medium-size bowl and using an electric mixer set at high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg yolk at a time and beat well after each addition. Beat in half the nut mixture. Beat in milk, a tablespoon at a time, using only enough to keep the mixture moist.
Using an electric mixer set at high speed, beat the egg whites (including the 2 additional whites) until firm peak form and egg whites are stiff. Quickly fold egg whites and remaining nut mixture into batter so that all ingredients are evenly and rapidly blended. This is best done by hand. Pour the mixture into prepared spring form pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the karydopita is dark golden brown and a cake tester inserted in its center comes out clean.
Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack. Pour the cool syrup over the hot cake, cover it with a cloth and let it cool in pan. Cut into diamonds or wedges and serve. Store either refrigerated or at room temperature covered.