Friday, April 27, 2012

The Daring Bakers #19 Armenian nutmeg cake...

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.

OK I have a confession to make first - when I had my first bite of the Armenian cake I realy didn't like it much... but after about third or fourth bite I just loved it! It's an unusual taste but one that you can grow fond of. I'm realy pleased with the fact that from one butter you're getting two different types of cake - crust one at the bottom (and when I say crust it's really crispy, cookie like) and soft and fluffy one in the middle. What a great idea that you can use the same thing twice! This cake really grew on me and this recipe is realy a keeper! The only change I'll make next time baking this delicious cake will be adding some cinnamon along with the nutmeg and maybe changing the kind of nuts I'll use on the top.
P.S. Regarding the sugar - I used 250 g light brown sugar and 150 g dark brown sugar.


How to make it...

Ingredients:
- 240 ml milk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 280 g all-purpose (plain) flour (I suspect pastry flour or another low-gluten flour might even work better to achieve a light, fluffy crumb)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 400 g brown sugar, firmly packed
- 170 g butter, preferably unsalted, cubed
- 55 g walnut pieces, may need a little more
- 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg (try to grate it fresh yourself; the aroma is enchanting)
- 1 egg

Preheat your oven to moderate 350°F/175°C/gas mark 4. Mix the baking soda (not baking powder; that's for the next step) into the milk. Set it aside.
Sift together the flour and the baking powder into a large bowl. One sift is fine. Add the brown sugar. Go ahead and mix the flour and brown sugar together. Toss in the cubed butter. Mash the butter with a fork into the dry ingredients (you can also use your fingers if you want). You'll want to achieve a more-or-less uniform, tan-colored crumbly mixture. Take HALF of this resulting crumbly mixture into your springform (9”/23cm) pan. Press a crust out of it using your fingers and knuckles. It will be easy.

Crack an egg into a mixer or bowl. Toss the nutmeg in with the egg. Start mixing slowly with a whisk attachment and then increase to medium speed, or mix with a hand whisk if you're doing it manually. Once it's mixed well and frothy (about 1 minute using a standing mixer, or about 2-3 minutes of vigorous beating with a whisk), pour in the milk and baking soda mixture. Continue to mix until uniform.
Pour in the rest of the crumbly mixture. Mix that well, with either a paddle attachment, or a spatula. Or continue to use the whisk; it won't make much of a difference, since the resulting batter is very liquidy.

Pour the batter over the base in the springform pan. Gently sprinkle the walnut pieces over the batter. Bake in a preheated moderate oven for about 30-40 minutes. You'll know it's done when the top is a golden brown, and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pan, and then release. Enjoy!


Smacznego!

24 comments:

  1. This looks so good, now I'm convinced I have to try it too :)

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  2. It looks great and you can really see the crust from the cake! I'm really glad to see someone who went with the original and also loved it (like I did).

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  3. This recipe is definitely a keeper! I loved the two different textures of the cake as well, and it's really good with a bit of cinnamon added. Your cake looks beautiful.

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  4. the armenian cake looks delicious but do give the nazook a try!

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  5. I loved this cake too, the idea of a dessert that combines a crust and a cake is hard not to love.
    Now I really look forward to trying the nazook
    Oh and I did add cinnamon to the cake and it was brilliant, I hope you'll enjoy it too if you add it next time

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  6. Great job! Your nutmeg cake turned out beautifully! I agree that this recipe is a keeper, and I think next time I make it I will add cinnamon, too! :)

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  7. I wish I had a piece of that right now... sigh. Definitely a keeper!

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  8. It looks really well, I like the walnut pieces - I didn't have them so I went with almonds. I agree, do try the nazook :))

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  9. I wish I made the nutmeg cake after seeing this Anila! I like the cinnamon and walnuts in this, a good bite to go with tea :)

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  10. I loved armenian nutmeg cake, you did a brilliant job.

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  11. Your crust looks great, lovely layers to the slice! I added cinnamon...i have a bit of a cinnamon addiction! :-)

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  12. I loved this cake recipe too! The cookie like bottom is out of this world. Great work. Best, Sandie

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  13. New follower! Looks very delicious :)

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  14. I'm glad that the cake grew on you - because it is such a delightful treat! :) You did a beautiful job on the challenge.

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  15. I loved the nazook more than the cake. Your cake looks fantastic...wonderful job.

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  16. Your Nutmeg Cake looks great! I used a bit of cinnamon with my nutmeg and it was delicious, so I'm sure you'll love it if you try it with cinnamon next time. Nice job on the challenge!

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  17. I used all light brown sugar maybe that's why mine was super sweet. The dark brown would be more caramelly, I would think. You must try the nazook, they are fabulous!

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  18. Fantastic job on this challenge! Your Nutmeg Cake looks perfect. :)

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  19. I used all light brown sugar in mine, and it definitely changes the color.}:)

    Lovely cake!

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  20. Wow looks so inviting... First time here n just love your space... when u get free time, do visit mine...

    Dish Name Starts With L
    Learning-to-cook
    Regards,
    Akila

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  21. Your cake looks gorgeous! I agree that this cake grew on me too, so I made a second one. I also liked how well it kept.

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  22. The cake looks gorgeous and love the wonderful brown color! The recipe is definitely a keeper! I am going to try with cinnamon next time.

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  23. Thank you ALL for lovely comments :)
    I loved the cake - try to add that cinnamon next time, as there will be next time with this cake! - and I def have to try and make nazook (especially after seeing them at your blogs - delish!).
    Pozdrawiam, Anula.

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  24. That crust was wonderful, wasn't it! And I'm with you on making it again-- cinnamon would be a wonderful spice...

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Thank you for taking your time and leaving a comment. It means a lot!
Pozdrawiam, Anula.