2/3 cup grated kefalotiri cheese (feta, or parmesan cheese would also work)
1 & 1/4 cups grated village halloumi (any halloumi will work if you can’t find village which is harder in texture)
3 cups self rising flour (you may need a little more)
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
5 eggs (separated into egg whites and egg yolks)
1 cup sunflower oil
1 cup milk
1 heaped tablespoon dried mint
1. Grease and flour a bundt pan and preheat the oven to 160C.
2. Beat egg whites until foamy.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the baking powder and flour.
4. In another large bowl, mix the egg yolks, oil, 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of milk and the egg whites. Use a whisk and whisk the ingredients together well. Then add the rest of the milk and continue to whisk together.
5. Add the grated cheeses and mint and stir the mixture.
6. Then add the rest of the flour. The texture should resemble pancake dough a little bit. That’s OK, add a little more flour (up to 1/8) if it appears too runny, but it is meant to be on the runnier side of things.
7. Bake the bundt cake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, until a knife inserted comes out clean.
It’s taken me longer than expected to post this recipe. For the last few weeks I have been curled on my couch feeling rather sorry for myself in a dizzy state of vertigo. Literally feeling as though I was watching the world go round and round. I am fortunately feeling better, forcing myself to get back to my life (with encouragement from those who I love) and not sit around and worry so much, which I have a huge (bad) tendency to do. (As well apologies for the vertical shots in this post, which aren’t as wide as normal, but it’s the best I could do with the time I could muster on my computer before getting too dizzy!)
Though I have not yet touched my desktop computer to edit photos (save for today when I was feeling brave) or had much ability to be able to stand long enough in the kitchen to cook anything other than a piece of toast or plain pasta, I did feel well enough one day last week to watch my aunt cook in her kitchen. She made a traditional Cypriot halloumi-mint bundt cake. I am not sure how traditional it is, as I am sure in the past that this bundt cake actually is rooted in some sort of flat pan halloumi-mint bread that I have tried: you know the kind with big pieces of halloumi chunks and big bits of mint – that was made in the outdoor stove ovens in the villages. (If you are interested in this recipe, just leave a comment below and I will track one down.)In my aunt’s kitchen, the outdoor oven has now been replaced with an indoor stove for day to day cooking (save for special occasions such as flaounas at Easter) and so this halloumi-mint bread/cake – which may have once upon a time ago been a bread baked in an outdoor oven – is now a bundt cake instead of a flat bread. It’s very savoury, and more delicate in texture than an oven baked bread.
The halloumi is grated. The mint is dry and sprinkled throughout. I watched my aunt make this cake with some hesitation actually as her technique and ingredients were a little unorthodox. There were whipped egg whites, no butter, no baking soda, eggs and oil that went into this cake; all combined in what appeared to be a rather chaotic fashion. Of course, there was no written recipe and no specific measurements needed, but I made sure to measure the ingredients with a measuring cup given to her as a present by my mom which is hidden deep in her cupboards, as she tut tutted that I was making a mess. (Which in fairness I did spilling flour, milk and oil on the table). Anyway, I hope you enjoy this cake. It has been a lifesaver during this past week when I was too poor to cook for myself, both for breakfast and afternoon snack. Hope you are well, and in good health. Much love xxx C
“Cypriot Cooking” written by Christina Loucas is scheduled for release by Whitecap Books in Fall 2020 in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and Europe. It is sure to evoke culinary memories of anyone with a connection with Cyprus. Click the link below to buy off Amazon Canada, or click here to find out where to buy it in your country.