With Valentines Day upon us next week, I have turned my attention to a recipe for seduction. If you conduct an internet search for aphrodisiac ingredients, common results may include oysters, asparagus, chocolate and chilli. A more unusual ingredient with claims of aphrodisiac properties is nutmeg. I learnt about nutmeg’s seductive association when I attended a Spice Appreciation course at Herbie’s Spices. I also thought it would be something a bit different from the usual Valentines Day inspired recipes.
Nutmeg can be used in sweet or savoury cooking. It is an essential part of a custard tart, but also compliments pumpkin or sweet potato dishes. I’ve partnered the nutmeg with other ingredients that are claimed to have aphrodisiac properties, including almonds, honey, cinnamon and ginger to create my Nutmeg Cake. My recipe was inspired by Ian Hemphill’s Nutmeg Cake recipe from Spice Notes and Recipes, and Richard Corrigan’s Spice Cake recipe from Great British Menu.
It may seem like a high ratio of butter, and it is, but the end result is a lovely buttery, crumbly cake. You could serve your nutmeg cake(s) with a lemon or lime drizzle icing, made by combining the zest and juice of a lemon or lime with icing sugar to create a paste. Other serving ideas include a warm chocolate sauce made by melting equal parts of dark chocolate and cream or sour cream over a low heat. Delicious served with some thick cream or vanilla ice-cream.
I used a square muffin tray to make mini cakes, you could use any muffin or cupcake tray you have available, or you could make one large cake. If making one large cake or using a mini-muffin tray you may need to adjust the cooking time.
- 150g sugar
- 250g butter
- 250g self raising flour
- 80g ground almonds
- 50g honey
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- Heat oven to 180°C.
- Add the butter, honey and sugar to a saucepan and cook over a low heat until the butter is melted and the sugar is disolved. Add the vanilla and set aside to cool.
- Combine the flour, ground almonds, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and stir to combine.
- Add the egg to the cooled butter mixture and stir to roughly combine.
- Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Grease your cake tin or muffin tray.
- Spoon the mixture into your cake tin or muffin tray.
- Cook your cake(s) for approximately 20 minutes, they should spring back when you touch the middle.
- Remove your cake(s) from the oven and cool in the tray.
- Once your cake(s) are cool, they are ready to serve or store in an air-tight container. Enjoy.
What is your favourite Valentine recipe? Has this post inspired any new ideas?