Playing mad scientist a bit, I tried putting some ground nutmeg in coffee, and I really thought it tasted neat, especially with brown sugar. I think it'd taste even better if I used whole nutmeg, toasted/roasted it a little, and ground it up with the coffee beans. Since nutmeg comes in whole...nuts....how can I break off a little chip of it? Also how can I toast it without having to get a whole pan dirty? Thanks :)
You can break up a whole nutmeg with a hammer - just wrap the nutmeg in a kitchen towel first so none of it goes flying. Give it a couple solid smacks with the hammer, right through the towel, laid on a hard surface. This should break it up into larger pieces. (Add a couple more whacks if it doesn't, but try not to break it up too much.)
To toast the pieces, the easiest way really is just to use a pan. Don't worry - you will barely need to clean it, a quick rinse with water will do once you're done.
Toast the pieces on a stove, over low heat. Move the nutmeg bits around frequently with a spoon or by carefully tossing the pan until you start to smell them. You can also use an oven on a medium temperature (around 350 degrees F) and toast for about 10 minutes, checking and stirring them halfway through. Make sure your pan is oven-safe before you do this.
Either way, once the nutmeg smells toasted, it probably is. Remove from the heat, and add to your coffee for grinding.
You could toast it by holding it in tongs in front of a blowtorch. But the problem is that the surface is a tiny fraction of a nutmeg, so you'd have to toast it, grate that surface off (fairly evenly) and toast it again next time.
I'm not sure why you feel the need to toast it though. Many spices are better toasted, but freshly grated nutmeg is often added to wet dishes (like rice pudding) without any toasting.
Store-bought nutmeg is always the sun-dried variety, so unless you're going to buy both the nutmeg seeds and your coffee beans fresh and roast them together and then ground them up together as well, why would you want to toast a nutmeg chip if the taste is great already?
If you insist on breaking off a little chip, I really like the most versatile tool in the universe: