Sunday, March 27, 2011

March 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge # 50: FILLED MERINGUE COFFEE CAKE

 I love to knead bread, the feeling of touching it and watching it transforms itself from a messy bit of flour into a smooth and soft dough. It's one of something so wonderful that you can make by your hand.

For this month: March 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge # 50, I have a chance to try new bread recipe "FILLED MERINGUE COFFEE CAKE". A great recipe that Jamie (of Life’s a Feast, host of this month challenge) found it on a piece of yellowed paper in her dad’s collection of clipped out and hand-written recipes from the 1970’s, no source, no date, and she tried the recipe and it was brilliant! and I must admit it's greatttttt!!!
There are 2 variation for this challenge but I choose to make Jamie’s All-American versions with cinnamon, chopped pecans and chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (the other choice is making a Ria’s Indian-inspired version with saffron added to the sweet yeast bread dough and **garam masala and cashews flavoring the filling ). The sweet version is more welcomed in in family, haha.
Anyway I made only half of the original recipe and got only 1 round, you can half it easily, so I didn't give you the amount that I use.
 It's very pleasurable to knead such a soft dough, and very easy to knead too, thank for the all purpose flour,^^, so this recipe will be good for the bread making beginner too. At first, I think that the meringue in the bread is a strange thing to see, but when making it I saw that the meringue will become two part, the meringue that leaks out of the bread will become crisp, adding an interesting texture when the one inside will melt into the bread, makes the bread soft and moist.
 The finishing product is very good, the coffee cake is soft and fragrance, I think it will be great for having a piece (or two, hehe) of it with a cup of hot delicious coffee. 

"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."

Makes 2 round coffee cakes, each approximately 10 inches in diameter
The recipe can easily be halved to make one round coffee cake

For the yeast 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 teaspoons / 7 g / less than an ounce) active dried yeast (or 2tsp instant 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 at 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 Tablespoons (30 g / 1 oz.) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (170 g / 6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate
Egg wash: 1 beaten egg
Cocoa powder (optional) and confectioner’s sugar (powdered/icing sugar) for dusting cakes

Prepare the dough:
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups (230 g) of the flour, the 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 (I use a spatula)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. 
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.   
 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:In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling if using. 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.

 Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue:
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:
Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.
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).

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.

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.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

 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. 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 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.
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.
March 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge # 50: 


  1. Looks beautiful! I somehow cannot get an even thickness for my ring bread..yours is so gorgeous!

  2. Coffee cake looks seriously stunning and addictive..

  3. Greetings from Southern California

    I invite you to visit my blog

    God Bless You and Have a Nice Day :-)

  4. This looks absolutely fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Pardon me, Pook. I don't see any coffee as the ingredient. Is this a coffee cake/ bread?


  6. Beautiful, soooo yummy delize:9

  7. Hi!! I love your blog. There is much creativity and love what you do.



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