I am so happy to say I have completed my first Daring Baker’s Challenge!
At first, I was nervous about joining the daring baker community, but I’m glad I decided to give it a try. I am excited to find out what the next challenge will be.
For March 2011 Daring Baker’s were challenged to make a yeasted meringue coffee cake. The hosts of the challenge, Jamie and Ria, provided us with a delicious dough recipe, and creative filling ideas. Don’t forget to stop by Jamie and Ria’s blogs for more amazing creations.
For my coffee cake I decided to go with a fairly simple filling selection. For one of the cakes I used dark chocolate chips, crystallized ginger, and dried cherries. For the second cake I used dark chocolate chips, dried cherries and chopped pecans. Both were delicious! I fantasized about making french toast with the leftovers, but never got around to it.
If you feel up to the challenge, let me know what you choose to fill your cakes with. I am interested in trying a savory filing next time.
Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cakes
4 cups (600 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (55 grams) sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 package (7 grams) active dried yeast
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs
3 large egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup (110 grams) sugar
A. Chopped dark chocolate, chopped dried cherries, and chopped crystallized ginger. (About 1/2 cup of each the chocolate and cherries, and 4 or 5 pieces chopped ginger.
B. Chopped dark chocolate, chopped dried cherries, and chopped pecans. (Same amount of chocolate and cherries, and about 1/4-1/3 cup pecans).
Egg wash (1 beaten egg)
Cocoa powder for dusting the cake
Powdered sugar for dusting the cake
To Make the Coffee Cakes
Prepare the dough:
- In a large mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 cups (230 grams) of flour, all of the sugar, salt and yeast.
- In a small saucepan combine the water, milk, and butter. Melt the butter into the liquid over medium heat. Once fully melted remove and allow to cool slightly.
- In the bowl with the dry mix, slowly pour in the warm liquid and mix together with an electric mixer. Continue to mix for about 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs, and 1 cup (150 grams) flour. Mix for 2 more minutes.
Using a wooden spoon mix in enough of the remaining flour so that the dough will stay together.
Flour your kneading surface with some of the remaining flour, and turn out the dough. Knead the dough for 6-10 minutes until smooth, soft, and elastic. (I slightly over kneaded my dough/added too much flour at this step so watch your dough carefully!)
Place the dough in a greased bowl, and cover all sides of the dough ball with the grease. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel, and place a warm area. (I slightly warmed up my oven, and then turned if off and placed my bowl inside to proof. My apartment is very cold and it wouldn’t have risen otherwise.)
Allow the dough to double in size, this takes anywhere from 40-60 minutes.
Prepare the filling:
I simply chopped up my chocolate chips, nuts, cherries, and crystallized ginger and set aside. I should also mention I did not combine anything. This made it easier to evenly cover the meringue with the filling ingredients.
Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue.
To make the meringue:
In a very clean mixing bowl (not glass), combine the egg whites and salt. Beat on low for 30 seconds.
Once frothy, increase the speed to high and beat until foamy. Add the vanilla.
Slowly pour the sugar into the egg whites as they are beating. Continue until you have used all of the sugar, and you have a stiff glossy peaks in your meringue.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Punch down the dough and divide in half. Wrap one of the pieces in plastic, and on a lightly floured surface roll out the other piece of dough until about 20×10 inches.
- Spread on about half of the meringue, and fill with your choice of filling. Do not over fill!
- Now roll up the dough – jelly roll style. Be careful that all your filing doesn’t smoosh out. I had some issues with my first one, but the second one turned out much better!
Move the log of dough to one of the cookie sheets, and form into a circle. Seal the ends together as much as you can.
Repeat with the second piece of dough.
Using scissors or a very sharp knife cut slits around the circle. You can cut as deep or as shallow as you desire. Cover the cakes with plastic wrap and the towel, allow to rise for another 40-60 minutes in a slightly warm area.
Pre-heat the oven to 350º F, and brush the tops of your cakes with the egg wash. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and decorate with powdered sugar, or cocoa powder.
Enjoy warm from the oven, cooled the next morning with coffee, or slightly warmed up with a scoop of ice cream.