I joined the Daring Baker’s just a few days before the March challenge started, I am so glad I did. My first challenge was so much fun!
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 bake regularly with both wild and commercial yeast, so, when I read yeasted coffee cakes, I had a big smile on my face, then the word ‘meringue’ finally sank in and there started the real challenge. My experience with meringue doesn’t go beyond lemon meringue pie and Pavlova but once I made my mind about the filling, I found myself in the kitchen measuring the ingredients, rolling the dough and finally filling it before baking.
The dough is smooth and elastic and rolls very easily; the meringue brings everything together and just melts into the dough. When it comes to the filling, the options are endless, I tried two, one with orange blossom water, orange zest, pistachios and chocolate and the other one (the one on the photo) with candied chestnuts and dark chocolate.
I am sending this yeasted coffee cake to Yeastspotting.
- 4 cups flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup water (doesn’t matter what temperature)
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
- 2 cups candied chestnuts (smashed with using a fork)
- 1 cup chopped dark chocolate
- 1 egg, beaten
- Demerara sugar to sprinkle on top
In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 ½ cups flour with sugar, salt and yeast, heat the milk, water and butter until the butter has just melted.
Add the warm milk mixture to the flour, mix for 2 minutes, and add the eggs and the rest of the flour. Knead until smooth and elastic. The dough should not stick to your hands, if it does add a little more flour as you knead it.
Lightly grease a bowl with oil and let dough ferment for about an hour, until doubled in volume.
While the dough is fermenting, prepare the filling and set aside.
Make the meringue once the dough has doubled in volume, beat the eggs to soft peaks, and slowly add sugar one tablespoon at a time until very stiff.
Divide the dough and roll into 20×10 inch rectangle, spread half the meringue over the rolled dough, sprinkle with half the candied chestnuts and chocolate, starting from the longer side, roll the dough like a jelly roll and bring the two end together to form a ring. Repeat this with the second piece of dough and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Cover the coffee cakes with lightly greased plastic wrap or tea towel and let them rise for 45-60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350F, brush the top of the coffee cakes with the egg wash and sprinkle with a little sugar and make 5-6 cuts with a serrated knife or scissors.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the coffee cakes turn golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.