Friday, 11 May 2012

Armenian Nutmeg Cake

It has been long. So long. Too long. Divine Cherry had had to pay a visit to Hercules, Golden Peach and the Fruit Dogs in the Garden of the North East and was forced to leave Celestial Dragon on his own. For too long. For who is Celestial Dragon without Divine Cherry? Just a big, lazy lizard that slithers his way through the fridge and noses into every cupboard with the vacant intelligence of a stunned raccoon. The hours passed, the days went by, entire weeks became months, and years followed soon after. Time passes differently when one has to face it on one's own. And so it was that when Divine Cherry eventually returned to the Palace, she found Celestial Dragon sprawled on the floor, looking haggard and forlorn. His long and scaly body had shrivelled up, and not a single muscle twitched in even a sad simulacrum of life. He was dried-up and filled-up at the same time: while he lacked the strength to even lift his head, it was clear that his eyes were filled with tears.
But those were tears of joy, of happiness for Divine Cherry had finally returned. As soon as Celestial Dragon heard the door of the Palace being pried open, he looked up from his misery and saw Divine Cherry standing before him, a huge teardrop lowered itself from his right eye. (The other eye was still sleeping.) Trumpets sounded, birds chirruped, and choruses of angles intimated Lux Aeterna. And in order to celebrate that joyous occasion, that longed-for return, and also in order to excuse herself for having left Celestial Dragon alone – the naughty cherry, Divine Cherry decided to bake this Armenian Nutmeg Cake. And what an amend it was! It was sweet, it was delicious, it was awaited, and it was good. Everything was good again. Celestial Dragon perked up, raised his head and smiled again; and Divine Cherry hugged him and they both ate from this cake. Everything was the way it was supposed to be. And everything was better than good. Especially the cake. Especially the cake indeed...

Blog-checking lines: 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.

Nutmeg cake   Recipe adapted from the Daring Bakes April Challenge
- 240 ml milk
- 5 g baking soda
- 280 g plain flour
- 10 g baking powder
- 300 g brown sugar (originally 400g)
- 170 g butter, preferably unsalted, cubed
- 55 g pistachios (or walnut )pieces, may need a little more
- 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 egg

Crunble crust
Preheat your oven to 180 C. In the meanwhile, mix the baking soda (not baking powder) into the milk. Set aside. Put the flour, baking powder, and the brown sugar in a bowl a mix with a fork. Add the cubed butter and rub with your hands to make crumbles (or pulse with a food processor).
Pour HALF of the crumbs into yourcake mould. Press out a crust using your fingers and knuckles.
Crack the egg into the bowl with the rest of the crumbs still in it. Grate 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg. Mix until well-incorporated. Pour in the milk and baking soda mixture. Continue to mix until a slightly lumpy tan batter is formed. Pour the batter over the crust in the springform pan. Gently sprinkle the pistachiost pieces over the batter.
Bake in a preheated moderate oven for 30-40 minutes. It's ready when the top is golden brown, and when it passes the toothpick test (comes out clean).

Torta alla noce moscata  Ricetta tratta dalla sfida di Aprile dei Daring Bakers

- 240ml latte
Cake ready for the oven
- 5g bicarbonato di soda
- 280g farina
- 10g lievito in polvere
- 300g zucchero di canna
- 170g burro a cubetti
- 55g pistacchi a pezzi
- 1(1 e 1/2) cucchiaino di noce moscata grattata
- 1 uovo

Accendere il forno a 180 gradi. Nel frattempo, mscolare il latte con il bicarbonato di soda e lasciare riposare da parte.Mettere la farina, lievito e zucchero in una ciotola e mescolare gli ingredienti. Aggiungere il burro a cubetti e formare delle briciole con le dita (o mettere il tuttoin un mixer...).
Versare META' delle briciole in una tortiera (precedentemente imburrata e infarinata) e livellare bene con le dita. Aggiungere alla seconda metà delle briciole l'uovo, la noce moscata grattata e il latte. Mescolare bene fino ad ottenere una consistenza omogenea (ma ci saranno comunque alcuni grumetti, va bene così). Versare il composto sulla crosta di briciole praparata prima. Spargere sulla superficie i pistacchi a pezzi e infornare. Cuocere per 30-40 minuti, fino a che uno stecchino uscirà pulito. Far raffreddare nella tortiera e poi sformare.

And Spread the Mess


  1. I never had an Armenian cake. The nuts in the dough sound a very tasty idea!

    1. That was the first armenian cake for me too...actually pleasantly surprised as well... :)

  2. Pistachios and nutmeg are intriguing. I need to try this and see for myself! Your post made me laugh.