It is an old Macedonian tradition (in most parts of the country) for a mother to bake a Turte cake when her baby's first tooth appears. I couldn't wait to bake a Turte for my son, so I was pretty excited when his first tooth appeared the day after we landed in Australia.
I baked a large Turte decorated with lots of Smarties, and I wrapped each individual slice in cellophane, decorated with a beautiful blue bow. I proudly handed each slice out to our closest friends and family.
I have seen some mothers bake their Turtina in muffin trays which makes it easier to separate into individual portions. Some mothers also decorate their Turtina with a cute printed picture stapled to the cellophane with the baby's name and the date that their first tooth popped out.
- 1kg plain white flour
- 1 cup (250ml) of full cream milk
- 1/2 cup of oil
- 2 cups of white sugar
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of bicarb soda
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 eggs
1. Mix baking powder with bicarb soda in large mixing bowl, then sift in flour.
2. Create a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs, sugar, oil, milk, vanilla and lemon zest. Combine well.
3. Knead dough well. The dough should be soft. If it is too sticky, add more flour.
4. Grease a deep baking pan (or muffin tray). Heavily flour each surface of the pan and add the dough. Use your hands to mould the dough into the pan. If you are using muffin trays, you will need to divide the dough into small portions (do not fill to the top, as the Turte will rise).
5. Use a fork to decorate the top of the Turte by forming indents in the dough. Sprinkle Smarties on the top.
6. Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for approximately 40 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven. Allow Turte to rise and become a nice golden colour. Check Turte by inserting a skewer (if it comes out clean, the Turte is done).
7. Allow to cool, then divide into individual portions and wrap in Cellophane.
8. The Turte is usually served on a silver platter, and when your friends and family have taken a piece, it is custom for them to leave a gold or silver coin (so the baby's teeth are hard and strong), and/or rice (so the baby's teeth are white).