My turn hosting the Daring Bakers challenge

This month I baked, filmed, photographed, and ate…but well before the usual first of the month start date. I had the pleasure of hosting the Daring Bakers challenge, and, as a nod to my Armenian heritage—I refuse to have Kim Kardashian be the only association people have to Armenians—I introduced participants to an easy-to-make nutmeg coffee cake and that most Armenian pastry of all, nazook. For the latter, which I had eaten since I was a kid but never actually made, I made a flight down to L.A. and filmed my aunt Aida making it. She’s the one featured in the video below (after the jump).

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.

I loved all the pictures of the variations people made to both. For some reason, lots of people had difficulty with the nutmeg cake not cooking in the time I specified, and had to cook it for much longer. I’m not sure if their ingredients were cold, if the oven hadn’t completely preheated, or if my oven just runs hotter than normal. The nazook variations were awesome. I remember my aunt said you could fill it with just about anything. My cousin Vivian, her daughter, asked, “Chocolate?” to which Aida answered, “No. Not chocolate.” Some of the challenge participants were nevertheless undeterred, and baked them with chocolate anyway. They were reportedly very delicious.