Three Cheese Macaroni

Comfort Food: Lasagna

BBQ Grilled Cheese

Pork Sandwiches

Filled Meringue Coffee Cake

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I apologize for my absence from the blogging world for the past two months. My husband and I have moved halfway across the country - again. Closer to home, but still in foreign land. We are now living in cheese-country Wisconsin. I went from small-scale artisanal cheese world to the next level up. Luckily for me, I'm obsessed with cheese - so it's totally fine with me. Expect more from me this spring and summer - as I have a whole new area to explore!

I have been craving cinnamon rolls for about two months now. As soon as I read this month's Daring Bakers challenge, I instantly knew what flavors I was going to try.  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.

Luckily, I had nearly a full Sunday to hang out in the kitchen and watch dough rise - and my husband was working on taxes, so he didn't need my attention. It was a crisp sunny day, so the heat of the oven was welcoming. With the confirmation of my husband, I made two different fillings for my coffee cakes; cinnamon roll and peanut butter and jelly. The PB and J is cake is in the freezer until we finish devouring the cinnamon roll cake.

This is a fairly easy recipe (just time consuming). The more creative you are with the fillings, the more fun it gets. Just be sure to not over fill your dough, or it will come oozing out the ends. 


Cinnamon Roll-Filled 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

Ingredients

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
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 sugar

For the filling:
Cinnamon Roll
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 T honey
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cubed butter

Peanut Butter & Jelly
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup jam/jelly
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Egg wash: 1 beaten egg

Cocoa powder (optional) and confectioner’s sugar (powdered/icing sugar) for dusting cakes

Directions:

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, sugar, nuts and butter for the filling if using. The honey will get sprinkled on before rolling the dough. For PB & J, combine peanut butter and jelly with a spoon. Sprinkle chocolate over the dough, last.

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.

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.



1 comments:

Audax said...

Those last two photographs are stunning I love the colour of the crust and how nicely it slices. Wonderful result.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

March 29, 2011 at 3:22 PM

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