The Forty Martyrs Cake

Today, all Orthodox Christians are celebrating the Holy Forty which is sweating the beginning of Great Lent of Easter. Today I prepared as well the traditional 40 martyrs cake or “mucenici” as they are called in Romanian.

The “mucenici” is a traditional sweet cake prepared on 9th on March in order to celebrate the 40 martyrs sacrifice. The cake is prepared in shape of 8 and is topped with honey and walnuts. The most religious people, are preparing the cake without milk, eggs or butter, during the Great Lent. However, for people which are not fasting the cake can be prepared using those ingredients.

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Ingredients for 15 average “mucenici” :

– 400 g all-purpose flour
– 200 ml water
– 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
– 2 tablespoons of margarine
– 100 g crystal sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 10 g active yeast
– 30 g grated walnuts
– honey for glazing the cakes

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Directions :

Using the bread machine, mix the flour, salt, sugar, margarine and oil. Easy heat (should not be hot!) a small quantity of the water and dissolve the yeast. Pour the dissolved yeast and the rest of the water over the other ingredients and use a program that is kneading the dough. Let the dough rest until doubled in size for at least 1 hour and half.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. On a oily surface, shortly knead again the dough to take the air out. Then break it in small quantities and form long strips (as spaghetti). Use two strips and knit them together. Finally give it the shape of an “8”. Bake them for 20-30 minutes or until they are golden-brown. Let them completely cool, then decorate with walnuts and honey.