Time for the Daring Bakers Challenge reveal… this month Armenian Nutmeg Cake! There was also an option of creating Armenian Nazook, which looked deliciously intriguing but sadly I did not find the time to attempt a vegan version of this recipe also.
You can find the original recipe outline and instructions here.
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.
There were a few things I changed in order to veganize and healthanize this recipe: I used soy milk to replace regular milk, I reduced the quantity of sugar and added some polenta so that the base layer maintained some crunch, I use coconut butter and reduce the quantity by adding soy yoghurt to substitute in part. Lastly I used wholemeal spelt flour as my usual flour of choice when baking.
The cake turned out quite well, it was light and airy although not very deep, I think if I made this again I would use a 7” or 8” pan. It ws delicately spiced and not over sweet which I really liked. However, I made a bit of a silly mistake by not fitting the base of the pan tin correctly so that some of the mixture leaked through. Silly me! This meant my crust was a little messy and it was also a bit crumbly. I was keen to have another go at getting the crust sussed! In my second attempt I added a little ground chia to help the mixture stick together. This time I also decided to go down the route of mini muffins with a little base mixture pressed into each muffin mould with the end of a rolling pin. This time the mixture was not crumbly at all but it was not very crisp either- I wasn’t sure if it should be? I have therefore come to the conclusion that in order to get a crisper denser crust you would need to include nearer the full quantities or sugar and butter. I’d be interested to get thoughts on how the base turned out for you?
Either way I really enjoyed the taste of this cake, a lovely change from the norm as I usually opt for fruity flavours. Even though the name of the cake is ‘nutmeg’ you can use any warming spices you wish such as cinnamon and cardammon depending on you preferences. I used a combo of cinnamon and nutmeg (I just had to get cinnamon on there somewhere!) Similarly you could decorate the top with any nuts you wish (or go crazy with some chocolate shavings!...shhhh you didn’t hear that from me!)
Recipe: Armenian nutmeg cake
Makes a 9” cake
1 cup soy milk
Just under 1 tsp baking soda
2 cups spelt flour- mix of whole and white
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup rapadura plus a pinch of stevia
¼ cup polenta (to add crispness)
1/3 cup coconut butter/oil
1/3 cup soy yoghurt (or apple puree)
1 tbs ground chia or flax and 2 tbs hot water
½ cup flakes almonds and desiccated coconut
Mix the soy milk and baking soda and set aside.
Mix the flour, baking powder, spices, rapadura and polenta in a food processor. Add the coconut butter and yoghurt/apple and mix to form crumbs.
Press half the mixture into a cake pan (or in the bottom of cupcake moulds) to form a base.
Add the chia egg and milk mix to the remaining dough in the food processor and mix to form a lumpy batter. Pour the batter over the base mixture in the pan. Sprinkle nuts over the top.
Bake at 180C for approx. 30-40 mins until lightly golden and a skewer comes away clean.