Thursday, November 29, 2012

Armenian Gingerbread Cake Recipe


Armenian Gingerbread Cake
To avoid any confusion there is nothing Armenian about this cake.

In case you are not familiar with Armenian Cake, it is like an upside down crumb cake. The crumbs are at the bottom, giving the cake a crunchy base. It’s not just the crumbs that make this cake unique, actually there’s nothing unique about crumbs. What is unique is the process of making the cake. You make only one batter, use half for the crumbly base and add milk and other ingredients to the other half to get the cakey top. It’s a nice shortcut approach. 

Something else unique about Armenian Cake is that it is not from Armenia, but from Australia. Why it is called Armenian Cake remains a mystery. The story is no different from Afghan Cookies which are from New Zealand, not Afghanistan. And Mars bars is not from Mars. Analogy taken too far I think. 

Armenian Cake is usually made with nutmeg. I replaced nutmeg with ginger and cinnamon to make the gingerbread version. 

Armenian Gingerbread Cake

Recipe adopted from my earlier recipe for Armenian Cake

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
125 g butter
1½ cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon molasses
¾ cup milk
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons fresh ginger (or 2 teaspoons dried ground ginger)


Directions
  1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, butter and sugar until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Either use your fingers or food processor
  2. Press ½ the mixture into a greased 20cm baking tin 
  3. In a bowl beat egg. Add milk, molasses, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger and mix well.
  4. Add this liquid to second half of the flour mixture.
  5. Mix well and pour on top of mixture in the baking tin.
  6. Bake at 180°C/360°C until done, about 40-45 minutes
Armenian Gingerbread Cake

7 comments:

  1. The cake looks fantastic and as I have already said it's very wise of you to post it before Christmas, a spice/ginger cake time par excellence.
    I like the bottom layer too. It looks very original.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. The bottom layer was more tasty than the top one - nice and crunchy:)

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  2. Hahaha! 'And Mars bar is not from Mars':D Seriously, what's up with these down under folks naming their sweet creations like that? I just thought we have a huge Armenian community here in Boston, and I've never heard of/seen this cake! What a great idea for the process! Also, what was the amount of nutmeg in the original recipe?

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    1. They probably ran out of ideas and started using countries names!
      I think Armenians are not aware of this Armenian cake:)
      1 teaspoon nutmeg in the original recipe.

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    2. There is never smoke without fire ... Next time you joke about something you don't master please think twice. Armenia is one of the oldest countries in the world. Armenians introduced the Cafe concept to Europe and Armenians Pascal and Diodato opened the first coffee shops in 1652 in London, 1672 in Paris, 1685 in Vienna and 1703 in Prague before your country was discovered.. In the link below you can read how an Armenian monk introduced this bread to Europe and that's why it is called Armenian bread... The reason that your Boston Armenians don't know about it is very simple: All Armenians arrived to the US in the begining of the 20th century were orphans escaping the Armenian Genocide.. It is obvious that that being raised in a new country they will not study Armenia's history in the US... so the terrible Genocide orchestrated by the Ottoman turks and the loss of 80% of the Armenian historical territory was the cause:
      So , "It is not a shame not to know, It is a shame not to learn" ( Armenian old quote )
      Regards,
      Pierre M.Baghdadian(Armenia)

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  3. An Armenian monk originally introduced the West to gingerbread.
    http://www.ianyanmag.com/how-an-armenian-monk-brought-gingerbread-to-the-west/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for this interesting info, I had no ideas.

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