Sunday, March 27, 2011

Daring Bakers March 2011 - Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

So, my last post was on March 1st and today is the 27th. And I don't even have a freakin picture to go with my post!! What happened to me??? I have been so busy at work and home lately that my baking has taken a backseat and I am almost ashamed to admit it but I am really lazy to take pics of the stuff I do manage to make. Case in point was the yeasted coffee cake I made for this months daring baker's challenge.

Blog-checking lines: 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.

This was a new type of cake for me to try and even though my results where not that great (I baked mine for a little too long) I could totally see that it was a yummy recipe. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture and the whole thing was finished in a day! I made only one wreath as I had halved the recipe and it was more than enough for the two of us. I whipped up a fabulous meringue (my egg whites where so stiff and shiny!!) and added lots of cinnamon and chocolate and loved everything about it. (I made Jamie's version). I wanted to make one more to photograph it but didn't get the time. One thing I would change the next time though would be the shape as I struggled to get a nice wreath shape and mine looked all flat and weird. Probably a loaf or something. I will leave you with the recipe as given to us and prepare for my next challenge. Which I will surely photograph!


For The Yeast Coffee Cake Dough
4 Cups (600 g / 1.5 lbs.) Flour
1/4 Cup (55 g / 2 oz.) Sugar
3/4 Tsp (5 g / ¼ oz.) Salt
1 Packet (2 ¼ teaspoons / 7 g / less than an ounce) Active Dried Yeast
3/4 Cup (180 ml / 6 fl. oz.) Whole Milk
1/4 Cup (60 ml / 2 fl. oz. Water (doesn’t matter what temperature)
1/2 Cup (135 g / 4.75 oz.) Unsalted Butter (Room Temperature)
2 Large Eggs (Room Temperature)
For The Meringue
3 Large Egg Whites (Room Temperature)
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 Cup (110 g / 4 oz.) Sugar

For The Filling
1 Cup (110 g / 4 oz.) Chopped Pecans or Walnuts
2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar (30 g / 1 oz.)
1/4 Tsp Ground Cinnamon - I used 1 Tsp
1 Cup (170 g / 6 oz.) Semisweet Chocolate Chips or Coarsely Chopped Chocolate
For The Egg Wash
1 Beaten Egg

Prepare The Dough
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups (230 g) of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.
2. In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted.
3. 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 the eggs and 1 cup (150 g) flour and beat for 2 more minutes.
4. Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface (use any of the 1 ½ cups of flour remaining) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth, sexy and elastic, keeping the work surface floured and adding extra flour as needed.
5. Place the dough in a lightly greased (I use vegetable oil) bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk, 45 – 60 minutes. The rising time will depend on the type of yeast you use.

Prepare Your Filling
1. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, nuts, chocolate and sugar for the filling.
Make The Meringue (Once the dough has doubled)
1. In 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 the egg whites with the salt, first on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high and continue beating until foamy and opaque. Add the vanilla then start adding the ½ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.

Assemble The Coffee Cakes
1. Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, working one piece of the dough at a time (keep the other half of the dough wrapped in plastic), 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 of choice evenly over the meringue (ex: half of the cinnamon-sugar followed by half the chopped nuts and half of the chocolate chips/chopped chocolate).
3. 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 and seal the ends together, forming a ring, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal.
4. Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife (although scissors are easier), make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch (2 ½ cm) intervals. Make them as shallow or as deep as desired but don’t be afraid to cut deep into the ring.
5. Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings. Cover the 2 coffee cakes with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Brush the tops of the coffee cakes with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.
7. Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheets onto the table. Very gently loosen the coffee cakes from the paper with a large spatula and carefully slide the cakes off onto cooling racks. Allow to cool.
8. Just before serving, dust the tops of the coffee cakes with confectioner’s sugar as well as cocoa powder if using chocolate in the filling. These are best eaten fresh, the same day or the next day.

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