Sunday, March 27, 2011


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.
I swear there's something therapeutic in making bread, from patiently weighing all the ingredients on the scale, to combining them and then kneading the dough and waiting for it to rise, and then baking. Sometimes I just need to make bread and this is one of those times. And I was really pleasantly surprised that this month's challenge is yeasted coffee cake, I need therapy :)

The mandatory items for this challenge are the brioche dough and the meringue. We were allowed freedom with the filling, if we wanted to make sweet or savory, I chose to follow Jamie's recipe but I didn't put nuts. And I made a second one with frozen blueberry as filling.

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

1/4 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
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 salt½ 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
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 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.

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.

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).

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.

Can I just say that I agree with some of my fellow Daring Bakers in saying that rolling the dough with the meringue was a bit of a challenge! It was oozing and I was worried that my bread won't be as delicious or good looking. But after I baked them, they were delicious and thankfully the meringue didn't all ooze out. So thank you Jamie and Ria for this fantastic challenge! Visit my fellow Daring Bakers and be amazed with their creativity here.


Pavithra said...

Wow absolutely Gorgeous.. Great job on the challenge. Love it totally..beautiful shapes.

shelley c. said...

Awesome job! Both of your versions look amazing. Blueberry sounds like a delicious filling for this wonderful bread. Your photos, as always, are beautiful. Glad this challenge was therapeutic for you. :) Great work.

Ruth H. said...

What amazing loaves you made! That blueberry cake looks and sounds so tempting... I now want to make yet another version! I am so glad that this recipe was good to and for you!! Great work!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely golden color! They both sound tasty.Great job this month
Best, Sandie

Alpineberry Mary said...

Great job on both cakes. I'm going to definitely try making it with frozen blueberries.

Renata said...

Your cake is so beautiful! The blueberry must have been an amazing filling with the meringue! I agree with you that making bread is therapy, I very often want to make bread, more frequently than we are able to eat them!

Poires au Chocolat said...

I like the fact you used blueberry as a filling - the colour looks great. Well done!

Rochelle said...

Beautiful photos! The blueberry one is something I want to try and the colors together are stunning :)

Aparna said...

They look beautiful and I'd go with the blueberry filling anyday.

Mary said...

Gorgeous coffee cakes! The blueberry one sounds delicious, and I love the look of the braided one. It was hard to roll!

Namratha said...

Blueberry...mmm, must have tasted so good! Your cake turned out great, and so did the braid.

oggi said...

Blueberry filling sounds really yummy and it looks very pretty too.

Suzler said...

Ooh, I love the sound of the blueberry filling! Yum. Your braided loaves look beautiful - such a wonderful finish.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love blueberries!!! Yours looks delish! Thanks for taking a look at mine :)

Deeba PAB said...

That frozen blueberry filling is calling my name...beautifully done on the challenge. Gorgeous photographs too!

Lisa said...

Both of your versions look incredible, but that blueberry one is absolutely stunning. Wish I could taste both of right now!

Rackell said...

weehh.. yummy! Good Job Chef!

Sheena said...

I love your braid, and the blueberry one sounds just lovely, I'm definitely going to try a fruit addition next time I make this.

Jamie said...

Just beautiful! And I really love the blueberry filling. It makes me want to make a cheese and fruit Danish type filling when I make this next. I think your cakes are perfect and I am so happy you loved them!

juliana said...

lovely cakes and a great challenge!

Sarah said...

I find bread baking therapeutic too. Your results look great!

Mimi said...

I so agree about bread baking as therapy. I love your blueberry version.

Cristina | Mafalda said...

Your cakes look so elegant and tasty... Need to grab some of the blueberry cake. Sounds delicious!
Kiss from Mafalda, Portugal

Anonymous said...

Ooo, blueberry? I must try that! Also, I love how you shaped your loaves. Great job!

shewhisks said...

I love the idea of blueberries in the cake! Both your cakes look totally gorgeous, well done!

Marcellina said...

Oooooh how delicious - blueberry coffee cake! That would definately be one of my favourites! How beautiful and fluffy your cake looks.

Lizzy said...

Wow, SO lovely! Your blueberry version is calling my name~

Cakelaw said...

Mmm, chocolate chip toffee and blueberry aregreat flavours.

Olive said...

gorgeous bread, Dahlia! :) I miss Daring Bakers' challenges. I hope I can join again. Where did you get frozen blueberries?

Simona said...

Nice job! I agree: there is something therapeutic in making bread and in general in working with yeast. All our attention is focused on the task at hand and everything else fades in the background.

Joy said...

Good job! It looks wonderful.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A beautiful coffee cakes! That blueberry filling is wonderful.



Roxana GreenGirl said...

your coffee cake turned out great. stunning photos. love your choice for the filling. thanks for sharing

Lea said...

That looks so fabulous!
The dough looks soft, light and airy!
Contrasts beautifully with the dark blue filling, and I bet the fillikng was delicious!
The crust looks colourful and shiny... amazing!

Kris Ngoei said...

These are simply delicious.... I am too caught up with fondant I totally forgot about the challenge :-<

Bravo, great turnout of the challenge!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Very well done.