The BIG DILEMMA stems from the fact that we can't, in clear conscience, expect the Cake-Maker Virtuoso to make her own birthday cake. So we need another Onion to step into the breach.
This year there was no shortage of volunteers. Happily, we have a clear policy on matters such as these. And so it came to pass that the first person to respond to the call-to-cake was allocated the task of preparing a delicious item to honour the Cake-Maker Virtuoso - and to satisfy all the other Onions who now have rather discerning palates when it comes to cake. No pressure, EM, no pressure at all.*
In her time of need, the Cake-Maker's Understudy turned to Tess Mallos's The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook and produced a most excellent Karithopita,** otherwise known as a Greek Walnut Cake. And this proved to be very pleasing indeed for our star cake-maker and her cake-eating colleagues.
Hip. Hip. Hooray!
* We wouldn't be surprised if you actually heard the sounds of sweet relief from other Onions who volunteered ever slightly more slowly than Ms M.
** For anyone keen to replicate this tasty treat, an approximation of Tess Mallos's recipe can be found here. However, the Cake-Maker's Understudy has an eagle eye for detail and reports that this recipe differs slightly - it notes that hot syrup should be poured on cold cake, whereas Tess's recipe calls for cold syrup to be poured on hot cake. And we are also informed that the delightful dark brown colouring was achieved by using raw sugar, rather than white. Feel free to experiment as you wish.