Monday, February 11, 2013

Armenian Nutmeg Cake


What makes a cake Armenian?  Good question.  You can imagine my surprise when I excitedly told my neighbor that I was making an Armenian Nutmeg Cake and she responded with, "I don't think there is such a cake."  My neighbor who is an Armenian cook par excellence checked all of her cookbooks for me...there was no mention of a Nutmeg Cake. I researched Armenian cooking to see which spices were most often used when preparing sweet dishes....cinnamon was the winner.

My neighbor talked to her mom and her sisters...they had never heard of it.  I did find a Walnut Cake..maybe that morphed into this fabulous Nutmeg Cake.  Who knows?   Whatever its origin, it meets the taste test....my neighbor even requested the recipe so she could make it for her mom.

Armenian or not Armenian, this cake meets the taste test!  Could I have another slice, please?  What, it is good for breakfast, too?  That works for me!

And why would I be making an Armenian cake?  Well, today is reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club and I was assigned Susie's wonderful blog, Eat Little, Eat Big.  Susie's blog is all about "striving to eat healthy without sacrificing the pleasures of good, tasty food and the occasional splurge."  I must admit that I really struggled to select a recipe...there were so many that appealed to me.  I looked at the Chicken Curry and the Greek Salad but the Armenian Nutmeg Cake won!  I will be visiting Susie often but since she is on Maui, I will have to limit myself to desk chair visits!



This cake can double as a dessert or a breakfast cake.  It has two wonderful layers. The bottom layer is a mixture of brown sugar, flour and butter.  It is firm and a great base for the cake layer which has a delightful crumb.  Susie discussed that some bakers had issues with the nuts migrating to the bottom or that it wasn't done in the allotted baking time.  Looking at the ingredients I did a little adjusting.  Instead of using 1% milk, I substituted sour cream...I used a whole egg instead of  just the white.  Okay, I missed the healthy point......but...it was so delicious.....and I only ate it for dessert and for breakfast....twice.

Armenian Nutmeg Cake

2 cups brown sugar
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup cold butter, roughly chopped
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Grease a 9 inch springform pan.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt, then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  (You may use your fingers or the food processor.  I used the processor.)

Add the sugar and combine.

Press half of this mixture evenly over the base of the prepared pan.  Reserve the other half.

Dissolve the baking soda in the sour cream, add the beaten egg and nutmeg, then the reserved mixture.  Combine well.

Pour into the pan and sprinkle the nuts and some cinnamon, if desired, over the top.

Bake in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes.  Start testing for doneness at 45 minutes.  My cake was done at 45 minutes.

Allow to stand for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


You won't be sorry that you made this delightful cake!!




19 comments:

  1. That looks amazing...authentically Armenian, or not! Wow. Thanks for sharing it with the SRC. I'm typically in Group A, but stepped in this week for someone. So, it's a pleasure to explore some new-to-me blogs!

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  2. Love the sound of this cake! I forwarded your blog to my sis in Michigan. I think she'd love this. Thank you! xoA

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  3. Glad you enjoyed it! It is also really good with a touch of Cardamom added in.

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  4. One look at t his cake and I know it is perfect for my hubby. Wonderful choice.

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  5. now this is a recipe that I would be looking into trying. looks great

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  6. Annis' Sister's mouth is watering and she can't wait to make this cake. It looks yummy! It looks perfect to eat on a cold Michigan Winter Morning with a hot cup of coffee.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it! Breakfast was never so good.

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  7. I can say from experience, that is a DELICIOUS cake, and your version, especially with the few changes you made, looks and sounds outstanding. Awesome choice.

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  8. Regardless of it's origin, it looks delicious.

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  9. Oh it looks delish! Great choice for the SRC!

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  10. That looks so great! So did you ever find out why they named it Armenian if it is not?

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  11. Looks delicious and the flavors sound perfect. Great choice.

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  12. A friend of mine gave me a recipe for an Armenian cake years ago and it was so amazing! Your cake looks fantastic.

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  13. It does look delicious and love nutmeg.

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  14. What a lovely cake! I've never heard of an Armenian cake!

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  15. Hi Kate,
    What a lovely presentation for this delicious recipe.
    Happy Valentine Day!
    Miz Helen
    SRC Group B

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  16. This cake sounds pretty easy to make and it's making me drool. Jen

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