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.
Our challenge for this month was to make one of the items that Jason shared with us. However, after reading through the recipes, both of them were intriguing and I had all the ingredients on hand- so I made both recipes! Today I am sharing the recipe for the nutmeg cake, and on Sunday I’ll share the Nazook!
The nutmeg cake is really easy to put together. The mixture that you make for the crust actually gets double-duty. Half is used for the crust and the other half is used for the cake! You can play around with the spices, depending on what you prefer (I backed off a little on the nutmeg and added some cinnamon). Also, Jason’s recipe calls for nuts on top of the cake- I left those off, but some of the other pictures I saw had anything from pecans, to sliced almonds!
Armenian Nutmeg Cake
Makes: 12 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes Bake time: Recommended: 30-40 minutes (mine went to 45 minutes)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon nutmeg*
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon*
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Stir in the brown sugar. Add in the butter and using a fork or pastry cutter, incorporate the butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Take 1/2 of this mixture and press it into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the egg, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Whisk until frothy (about 2 minutes by hand). Add in the milk/baking soda mixture that you made earlier. Whisk until it is well incorporated. Pour this egg/milk mixture into the large bowl (that contains the remaining half of the crumb mixture). Whisk until everything is well combined. Pour this over the crust. Sprinkle on the nuts (if you are using).
Bake for 30-40 minutes (though I had to take mine to 45 minutes), or until the top is set and the toothpick test comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool. Note: after 10 minutes, run a knife along the inside of the springform pan. This will help it to release better once the cake has cooled completely. (I did not do this and my crust gave me a little hassle once I tried to remove it from the springform pan!) Cool the cake completely, and enjoy!
*Original recipe note: Jason’s directions call for 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg. I’m not used to nutmeg being the primary spice in baked goods, so that’s why I went 1 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
Stay tuned…Sunday I will be sharing the Nazook recipe with you!
Made with love, not calories!