Tuesday, 14 July 2009

nutmeg slice

Whilst baking the banana and maple syrup muffins in my last post, I flipped through 'In The Kitchen' to re-bookmark recipes for cooking and somehow or other, decided to make the nutmeg slice as well. So out came the banana and maple syrup muffins and in went a nutmeg slice. Usually mum discourages me from doing more than one lot of baking in a weekend (we just can't eat it all) but thankfully, we were having family over that night and more people could help us eat. I also had all the ingredients for the slice at home and it was just a matter of measuring everything out and it worked out well that baking the nutmeg slice, I used up ingredients that were nearly finished anyway.

Admittedly, making the slice was a bit more work than usual. Muffins - you don't need to do a whole lot (actually it's best that you leave muffin batter lumpy). With the slice I was making, there was a base as well as the filling. Probably the most time consuming was this biscuit base (combo of flour, butter and brown sugar) which took some time to crumb together so that it resembled fine bread crumbs.
Line a tin with baking paper and assemble the base. Try to keep it thin.
The filling is actually half the biscuit base with all the wet ingredients (milk + eggs). Don't forget the key ingredient - 1 tsp of ground nutmeg.
Pour over the biscuit base.
Top with flaked almonds.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool before slicing into squares.
To be honest with you, I was quite nervous baking this slice. It wasn't that the recipe was hard, if anything it was easy to follow as are all the recipes. My main concern was around the key ingredient - nutmeg. The bottle of nutmeg was floating around in one of the kitchen drawer (the last time I used it would've been to make Nigella's Cabonara) and well, nutmeg just isn't a common ingredient for baking (well not for me anyway). Mixed with the fact that I come from an Asian household, it just isn't one of those ingredients that we're familiar with.

As the slice was baking, I caught the scent of the nutmeg and even when the tray came out of the oven, I was sniffing at the slice to see whether it was edible. Nutmeg has a very distinctive taste which I'm not sure will actually attract you to the slice if you're just smelling it but I took my baby steps and had a taste of it. OMG - this recipe produces the lightest of biscuit bases and such a moist topping. The flaked almonds just top the cake! I was out that night but mum gave me some very positive feedback when I spoke to her the next day. Apparently everyone loved it and well, there wasn't even the slightest mention of using nutmeg!

Anyway, that makes it Recipe #10!


Stephcookie said...

I don't think I've seen a nutmeg slice before but it sounds delicious! I adore freshly ground nutmeg and anything with a biscuit base :)

Belle@Ooh, Look said...

I avoid nutmeg as well, because (I think) there's very little it can be used for. Except a nutmeg slice, of course. In fact, I just made some gnocchi that had nutmeg in the recipe, but I just ignored it!

panda said...

steph - same here, it was the first time me seeing a nutmeg slice and strangely enough, i made a a whole tray and only used 1 tsp of nutmeg! anything with biscuit base is good :P

belle - i know what you mean. when i first made a recipe that had nutmeg in it, I was so tempted to avoid using it but good thing i bought the nutmeg for that recipe, it meant that i could bake this nutmeg slice :)

Anonymous said...

I adore nutmeg! :) I love grating it fresh with the fine Microplane grater and releasing the aroma (although I've skinned a few knuckles that way hehe). it always reminds me of those old school custard tarts that they sell at those old style bakeries and supermarkets.

Bean Sprout's Cafe said...

never seen and never heard of nutmeg slice.. It looks so yummy !

you are very good about baking all recipes from the book, i of course cant do this

panda said...

nqn - i use to love those old school custard tarts! i'll definitely give fresh nutmeg a go...just that my one small container is taking awhile to get through; must find some more nutmeg recipes!

beansprout - it's actually my first time baking so many recipes from one book. i like going through recipe books and choosing them but now that i've got so many, it's actually much easier to stick to one book or else i run out of time to cook! (i spend too much time trying to choose)