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.
Hello. My name is Jenni, and I am now addicted to Armenian Nutmeg Cake.
I was really excited to try this month's challenge for the Daring Bakers! I totally planned on making both the Nazook and the Nutmeg cake, but one thing let to another and I only got around to the cake. If the Nazook is as amazing as this cake was, though, I definitely still plan on making it! It might not be much to look at (although you can't tell by the sheet number of photos of this cake!) but this cake has amazing flavor! It is very moist and fragrant, and I love the brown sugar crust! The three principle ingredients that shine here are brown sugar, nutmeg, and walnuts, perfect companions!
Aren't my helpers so sweet? I was actually really shocked when I realized I had more than one picture without chubby little toddler fingers (or daddy fingers) in them. You would think I would learn to take more photos during naptime, but she looooves "helping" her Mama so much. And her food styling help cracks me up, even when she is grabbing food off the plates, leaving a massive crumb trail, and then fighting me for the plate itself. You can only see one tiny white paw in the photo below, but there were two four-legged helpers hovering around me, too - on crumb patrol, no doubt.
I hope you take the time to try this cake out! It is beautifully simple and delicious, a perfect treat for any time during the day (even right after breakfast...or with breakfast...). Like I said, I am addicted to this cake, I could not stop eating it, and I hope you will feel the same way about it! Thank you so much Jason for bringing us this awesome cake!
Armenian Nutmeg Cake (adapted from The Commonsense Cookery Book, by the NSW Cookery Teachers’ Scholarship Fund.)
1 cup milk
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup walnut pieces (break them up with your hand, you don't really want them chopped, but you don't want them whole, either)
1-1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (you can also use cinnamon and/or cardamom as a substitute, or use a combination)
Preheat your oven to 350.
In a small bowl, mix together the baking soda and the milk. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the baking powder and flour.
Whisk in the brown sugar.
Using a fork (or your fingers) mash in the butter until you get a more-or-less uniform crumbly mixture.
Press HALF of this mixture into the bottom of a springform pan to form a crust. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and the nutmeg for 2-3 minutes, or until it is mixed well and frothy.
Pour the milk in and whisk until combined.
Pour this over the remaining half of the crumbly mixture, and whisk until it is incorporated (it will be very liquidy)
Pour the liquid over the crust in the springform.
Gently and evenly sprinkle the walnut pieces on top.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan, and then release.