Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Daring Bakers’ April 2012 challenge _ Nutmeg Cake

The Daring Bakers’ April 2012 challenge, hosted by Jason at Daily Candor, was 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.

I have just got to this challenge. Sort of. I haven't had a go at the Nazook but you can see it on Jason's blog.
I made the nutmeg cake back in April and several times since. The cake is amazing. It has become a family favorite. I did have to fiddle with it a bit to take out the egg.  I have made it with the banana and without the banana and the egg, both times it worked wonderfully.

Armenian Nutmeg Cake

1 large bowl
1 large cup
Measuring spoons/cups
springform pan (9”/23cm)
food processor


1 cup (240 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) bi-carb (baking) soda
2 cups (280 gm/10 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
3 teaspoons  (15 gm) (1/2 oz) baking powder (I used single-acting, because it's aluminum-free, and it turned out fantastic)
1 1/2 cups (300gm) brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup (170 gm/6 oz) butter, preferably unsalted, cubed
1/2 cup  (55 gm/2 oz) walnutor almond or pecan pieces, 
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons (5 to 7 ½ ml) (5 to 8 gm) ground nutmeg - freshly grated is best if you have it
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
1 ripe banana or 1 egg (or both)

1. Preheat your oven to moderate 350°F/175°C/gas mark 4 .
2. Mix the bi- carb (baking soda (not baking powder) into the milk. Set aside.
3. Put the flour, baking powder and the brown sugar into your food processor. Pulse until uniformly mixed.
4. Add the cubed butter. Pulse until you have evenly sized crumbs.
5. Place 2 1/2 cups of the crumbs into the well greased springform (9”/23cm) pan. Press the crumbs evenly over the base and up the sides for 2 or 3 cms (1 inch) using your fingers.
6. Add the banana or egg, spices and vanilla to  the rest of the crumbs in the food processor.
7. Pour in the milk and baking soda mixture. Mix until it is just smooth.
8. Pour the batter over the crust in the springform pan.
9. Gently sprinkle the nut pieces over the batter.
10. Bake in a preheated moderate oven for 30-40 minutes. It's ready when the top is golden brown and a skewer is clean when it comes out.
11. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes and then take the springform part off. Leave it on the base until cooled.

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