The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake. Jamie found this recipe on a piece of yellowed paper in her dad’s collection of clipped out/hand-written recipes from the 1970’s [no source, no date]. She tried the recipe and it was brilliant!

After going through the recipe of this month’s challenge on the forum, I had countless heavenly flavour combinations flooding my imagination. But I was in such a hurry to try it out that I finally settled on what I already had on hand – slivered almonds, Côte d’Or Dégustation 70% Noir Intense and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.

So far I’ve not had a chance to experiment with other possible flavours; March has been much more hectic than I had originally anticipated. Adapting to my new unit – Gynae & Obs – has been all but easy and having to study for exams as well certainly did not help one bit. Wonder how I’m gonna survive the next 18 weeks…

YEASTED MERINGUE COFFEE CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Yeasted Coffee Cake Dough

4 cups (600 g/1.5 lbs.) flour

¼ cup (55 g/2 oz.) sugar

¾ teaspoon (5 g/¼ oz.) salt

1 package (2 ¼ tsp/7 g /less than an ounce) active dried yeast

¾ cup (180 ml/6 fl. oz.) whole milk

¼ cup (60 ml/2 fl. oz.) water, doesn’t matter what temperature

½ cup (135 g/4.75 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 large eggs, at room temperature

 

For the Meringue

3 large egg whites, room temperature

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon vanilla

½ cup (110 g/4 oz.) sugar

For the Filling

1 cup (110 g/4 oz.) chopped pecans or walnuts

2 tbs (30 g/1 oz.) granulated sugar

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup (170 g/6 oz.) coarsely chopped chocolate

 

Method:

Preparing the Dough

  • In a bowl, combine 1 ½ cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
  • In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted.
  • With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended.
  • Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes.
  • Add eggs and 1 cup flour and beat for 2 more minutes.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together.

  • Turn out onto a floured surface and knead dough for 8 to 10 minutes until soft, smooth, sexy and elastic, keeping the work surface floured and adding extra flour as needed.
  • Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning to coat all sides.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk, 45 to 60 minutes.
  • The rising time will depend on the type of yeast you use.

Preparing the Filling

 

  • In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar.
  • You can add the chopped nuts to this if you like, but it is easier to sprinkle the nuts and chocolate separately.

Making the Meringue

 

  • Use a clean mixing bowl, ideally a plastic or metal bowl so the egg whites adhere to the side (they slip on glass) and you don’t end up with liquid remaining in the bottom.
  • Beat egg whites with salt, first on low speed for 30 seconds, then on high. Continue beating until foamy and opaque.
  • Add the vanilla then start adding ½ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.

Assembling the Coffee Cake

 

  • Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Punch down the dough and divide in half.
  • Work one piece of the dough at a time. Keep the other half of the dough wrapped in plastic while you work on the first.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch (about 51 x 25 ½ cm) rectangle.
  • Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch (3/4 cm) from the edges.

  • Sprinkle half of your filling evenly over the meringue.
  • Now, roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side.
  • Pinch the seam closed to seal. Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined cookie sheets, seam side down.
  • Bring the ends of the log around. Seal ends together, forming a ring, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal.

  • Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch (2 ½ cm) intervals. Make them as shallow or as deep as desired; don’t be afraid to cut deep.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings. Cover the coffee cakes with plastic wrap.
  • Allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.

Baking and Serving

 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Brush the tops of the coffee cakes with the egg wash.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.
  • Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheets onto the table.
  • Gently loosen the coffee cakes from the paper with a large spatula and carefully slide the cakes off onto cooling racks.
  • Allow to cool. Just before serving, dust the tops with confectioner’s sugar as well as cocoa powder.
  • These are best eaten fresh, the same day or the next day.
  • Makes two round coffee cakes, approx 10″ in diameter.

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