March 27, 2011

Daring Bakers: Meringue Coffee Cake

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Meringue Coffee Cake
yeast coffee cake filled with meringue, garam masala, cashew nuts, and chocolate chips

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Jamie of Life’s a Feast and Ria of Ria’s Collection. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

Thank you Ria and Jamie for a delightful challenge. The sweet and delicious yeast coffee cake is a pleasure to make and to eat. The dough is very easy to work with and the soft fluffy moist cake resembles brioche but with less butter and eggs. I specially loved the crispy chewy nougat-like meringue that oozed out while baking. I didn't make any changes to Ria's dough and filling recipes, except for the additional spice (bay leaf) in the garam masala.

Meringue Coffee Cake
Ria's version

4 cups bread flour
¼ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
2 ¼ teaspoons active dried yeast
¾ cup whole milk
¼ cup water
½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature
10 strands saffron

3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sugar

1 cup chopped cashew nuts
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

egg wash
1 beaten egg

confectioner's sugar
  • Prepare the dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine 1½ cups 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. Add the 10 saffron threads to the warmed liquid and allow to steep off of the heat for 10 minutes. This will give the mixture a distinct aroma and flavor and a yellowish-orange hue. 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 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 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. Place the dough in a lightly greased 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.
  • Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue: In the mixing bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the salt 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.
  • Prepare the filling: Mix the sugar with the garam masala.
  • Assemble the Coffee Cakes: Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper. Lightly knead 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 ½ inch from the edges. Sprinkle half of the sugar/garam masala mixture, half of the nuts, and half of the chocolate chips evenly over the meringue. 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.
Meringue Coffee Cake
  • 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 kitchen scissors, make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch intervals. Make them as shallow or as deep as desired but don’t be afraid to cut deep into the ring. 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 . 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.
I was inspired by the beautiful cakes with savory fillings on the DB forum and made individual cakes/buns filled with Spanish sausages, blanched baby spinach, roasted red bell peppers, and scrambled egg. The sweet and salty buns are perfect for Sunday brunch.

Savory Coffee Cake Buns
filled with fresh butifarra sausage, roasted bell pepper, spinach, and scrambled egg


shelley c. said...

Oh my gosh, those buns look so perfect right now. I remember them from the forum, but seeing them at brunch time on a Sunday morning, they are just speaking to me! Your coffee cake wreath is absolutely beautiful as well. Really great work this month!!!

chef_d said...

I love the filling you made for the savory ones, they look so delicious! Excellent idea and lovely pictures :)

Unknown said...

Your dough looks fantastic! Fluffy and light. I love your brunch version with the sausage and egg, yummy!

Mary said...

Both your sweet and savoury versions look and sound delicious! I'd need to have a slice of each.

Audax said...

That savoury ban looks so delicious and the crumb in the cakes so perfect, superb work on this challenge.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Jenni said...

Great job!!! Your coffee cake looks perfect! I love the savory variety you made, it sounds great for a brunch!

Lisa said...

Both your versions look amazing, but since I saw it in the DK forum, I'm in lust with your sausage, spinach and roasted red pepper version. It's just perfect and I wish I had it in front of me right now!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of spinach, but your savory version makes me hungry, nonetheless!

jessicajlee said...

Absolutely stunning - what a novel approach to the challenge. Also, that first photo is just lovely - really fantastic.

Unknown said...

Ohh the coffee cake looks wonderful.

Lea said...

It looks great, especially the savory one, I love it!

Lea said...

HAve you left out the meringue for the savory version?

Oggi said...

Lea, yes, I replaced it with scrambled egg.:)

sirenang hardinera said...

This is unbelievable. Garam masala and chocolate chips? Oh my... this is true blue "Daring Bakers". I wish I can bake like you!

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