Saturday, April 11, 2015

Recipe: Armenian Cake

One of the great things about being an adult is earning money that you get to spend as you please. One of the downsides of being an adult is that you realise you need to spend said money on totally useful, unexciting things like bills. And you get excited about spending money on things that your child self would consider the most boring thing in the world.

A few months ago we spent the equivalent of a flight to Europe and back putting insulation in our ceiling. I was so excited I took pictures of the guys on the roof.

Before and After

This week I paid for my oven to be professionally cleaned. Again I took photos and told everyone around it. Even more mortifyingly adult, I keep finding myself wandering into the kitchen to gaze adoringly at it.

It is funny how your priorities change over time. As teenagers my friends and I used to always meet at Sportsgirl. These were the days before everyone had mobile phones so picking a popular shop meant we had plenty to look at while we waited for the one person who was inevitably late. Over time we moved our meeting place to Portmans and then to Cue. Then one day someone suggested we meet in the home-wares section of David Jones. I mark that as the tipping point. The day we all realised that as adults we would prefer to spend money kitting out our kitchens than our wardrobes.

These days I have a pretty fantastically equipped kitchen, although it is only lack of storage that stops me buying more. In fact to reach the square cake tin I use to make this recipe requires taking about 10 other things out of the cupboard first.

But onto the cake. After admiring my clean oven for awhile the urge to bake in it took over. This cake has been a favourite for many years. I love the crumbly base and the toasted almonds on top. And I really like that it cuts neatly into little squares that I don't feel too guilty at eating. I have no idea what makes it Armenian, this recipe has been a handwritten entry in my mother's cookbook for as long as I can remember so if anyone knows where it comes from let me know!

Armenian Cake

2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups brown sugar
125g butter
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 egg beaten
200g natural (unpolished) almonds

Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees. Grease and line a 8" square cake tin.

Mix the dry ingredients together and rub in butter. Halve mixture and press ½ into the base of the cake tin.

Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk. Add it and the beaten egg to the remaining half of the dry ingredient mix and beat until well combined.

Gently pour on top of the dry ingredients already in the tin. Top with nuts - I tend to put them in neat rows but you can arrange as you like, just place them gently so that they don't sink too much.

Bake for 1 hour. The top will end up a dark golden brown colour.

Cool, cut into squares and enjoy!


  1. I'm looking for a reliable oven cleaner company - your oven looks great, would you mind sharing who you used?

    1. I used Ovenu. I think they have franchises all over the place.