As you can see, the pistachios migrated a long way from the top of the cake. The batter was very liquid and I watched all the nuts get sucked into a vortex in the centre of the cake and disappear. Remember that I haven't got TV reception. The flavour and texture of the cake were good, but it reinforced why I do not like crumb cakes. The base was too rich and sweet and greasy and I ended up cutting it off. I made a second version of this cake, halving the sugar, doubling the egg and mixing all the crumbs with the egg and milk and much preferred the result. The batter was thick, the nuts stayed where they were supposed to, and it baked in the suggested time, unlike the crumb cake, which took much longer for many Daring Bakers. No photo of that one, sorry.
The second dessert was totally unfamiliar: nazook. A rich, but unsweetened butter and sour cream yeasted pastry wrapped around a rich and buttery filling. I made mine small, so they were crisp but tender. I used mahleb (or mahlab), a spice made from dried cherry pits to flavour the pastry and I used the given recipe for a vanilla filling. The mahleb gave a faint cherry-almond taste. These were delicious with coffee or tea, but again I would reduce the sugar next time. The pastry was amazing though, and so nice to work with. I didn't want to stop kneading it, even though I hate touching sour cream. That stuff is nasty, even if it does do wonders in baking.
Thanks to Jason of Daily Candor for a great challenge! You can find the full challenge post here, with step-by-step photos and a great video of Jason and his aunt Aida making nazook.
Blog-checking lines: 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.