The Daring Bakers’ April 2012 challenge, hosted by Jason at Daily Candor, were two Armenian standards: nazook and nutmeg cake. Nazook is a layered yeasted dough pastry with a sweet filling, and nutmeg cake is a fragrant, nutty coffee-style cake.
Regrettably, it is the night before posting day (whoops, someone fell asleep) and I’ve only made the Armenian Nutmeg Cake, the Nazook is still to come though, I promise, and I’ll post that recipe when I make it.
I made this cake earlier in the month thinking it would just be a regular snack/coffee cake, but I was wrong. We loved this cake and have never had anything quite like it. I love the technique of using half of the crumbs as the base of the cake before adding the liquid ingredients to form the cake layer. What was really outstanding though was the flavour, who knew we loved nutmeg so much? The Armenian nutmeg cake is adapted from a recipe for the same in The Commonsense Cookery Book, by the NSW Cookery Teachers’ Scholarship Fund.
Armenian Nutmeg Cake
Makes 1 9″ cake
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 egg
Combine the milk and the baking soda. Set aside. Put the flour, baking powder and brown sugar into a food processor and pulse to combine. Scatter the cubed butter on top and pulse until you get tan-coloured crumbs. Pour half of the crumbs (2 cups) into a greased 9″ springform pan, using your fingers and knuckles to press it firmly down. Add the egg and the nutmeg to the crumbs remaining in the food processor and process until combined. Add the milk/soda mixture and and continue to mix until a lumpy sand-coloured batter is formed. Pour over top of the bottom crumb layer, top with walnuts and bake in a preheated 350 degree for 50 minutes, or until it tests as done. Cool in pan and remove sides and serve.
Once again, the Daring Bakers introduced me to something new, that will become a family standard.