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. We were given two recipes to choose from, and here’s the one I chose:
Jamie’s Coffee Cake
4 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 package active dried yeast
¾ cup whole milk
¼ cup water
½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature
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 1½ 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. (P.S. This is what the original recipe said, “sexy dough!” I did my best…)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate
* Note- I also added 1 cup cinnamon chips because I find them DELICIOUS.
In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling. You can add the chopped nuts to this if you like, but I find it easier to sprinkle on both the nuts and the chocolate separately. Also, I chopped my pecans, and chocolate and cinnamon chips in my food processor for uniform size.
Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue. In a clean mixing bowl, 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:
Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.
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 rectangle. Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch 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).
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.
Using a sharp knife, make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch intervals. Don’t be afraid to cut deep into the ring.
Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings. Cover the coffee cakes with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
1 beaten egg (I used the left-over egg yolks from the meringue)
Cocoa powder (optional) &
Powdered sugar for dusting cakes (also optional- I sprinkled mine with cinnamon and sugar, and crystallized date bits.
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.
Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper (or Silpat mats) 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 onto cooling racks.
The only draw back (for me) with this recipe, was length of time. I can’t imagine what hour I would need to wake up to have these ready for breakfast- only because I have a “slow-rising dough” curse over me. Even though I used “rapid-rise” dried yeast, it still took my dough almost two hours to double in size (and that was sitting on top of my warm oven!) When I use regular yeast, my dough rises in about 4-5 hours!! So the Mister and I enjoyed this coffee cake around 3:00pm yesterday afternoon- which is not a bad time of day for coffee cake… but it’s not a breakfast hour by any means. Regardless, it was VERY tasty and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to try this recipe! Thanks again Daring Bakers!