Ria's Collection: YEASTED MERINGUE COFFEE CAKE...as we host the DB this month!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

YEASTED MERINGUE COFFEE CAKE...as we host the DB this month!

Yes, you read it right. Jamie and myself hosted the Daring Baker's Challenge for the month of March 2011. It was a fun ride all the way (for almost a year! )discussing recipes,calling up each other across continents and worrying about how we are going to finalise on everything when we wanted to do something with an Indian-American twist and put up the recipe on the forum. I think we worried much more than what was needed as it was not that difficult. Lis and Ivonne , the backbone of this baking group made everything seem like a dream! When you have the best people to work with, you don't have to worry about anything! Simple! :)
Yeasted Coffee Cake

This month's challenge was a 'Yeasted Coffee Cake' with a meringue filling which almost melts into the bread and makes it a very moist treat! It was really delicious and you can use it with a filling of your choice. I went ahead creating an Indian twist using 'Garam Masala' and Chocolate for the filling and I am so glad I did it because it is a deadly combo...we loved it! I also added a pinch of saffron to the dough which lends the dough a nice pale yellow colour and amazing fragrance!

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.

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
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
10 strands saffron 
For the meringue:
3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup (110 g / 4 oz.) sugar
For the filling:
1 cup (130 g / 5 oz.) chopped cashew nuts
2 Tablespoons (30 g / 1 oz.) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon garam masala (You can make it at home – recipe below - or buy from any Asian/Indian grocery store)
1 cup (170g / 6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips ( I used Ghirardelli)
Egg wash: 1 beaten egg
Cocoa powder (optional) and confectioner’s sugar (powdered/icing sugar) for dusting cakes
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.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 (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.
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.

Verdict: Will I sound partial if I said this is one of my fave DB challenges so far? :) It is, really! The dough is silky smooth to work with and the filling complements it very well.  I can see myself using this dough with a savoury filling in the future.


Vaishali Sharma said...

OMG Ria!! This coffee cake looks heavenly!! Garam Masala and Chocolate....Wow! I haven't tried this combo yet but sounds truly amazing! Love it!Love it! Love it!

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Thank you for picking an interesting challenge and being a great host. Of course, your wreath looks gorgeous.
I think you have every right to say this was your favourite challenge of all, Ria. :D

Pavithra Elangovan said...

Everything is very beautiful Ria...Loved the challenge.. One of my fav challenge as well:) Looks scrumptious.

Divya Kudua said...

I read Deeba's post first and was surprised to see that you were co-hosting the challenge this month!Way to go!So this was the BIG project you were talking about.After hearing so many great reviews about this cake,I feel like trying it out too..but the longish recipe kind of slows me down!

Reshmi Mahesh said...

WOW...it looks yummy...adding garam masala with chocolate sounds different..

Jeanne said...

The dough was definitely silky and so smooth to work with! And your coffee cakes look just perfect! Thank you for a wonderful challenge. I know that I'll be using this recipe again, with a variety of different fillings!

Anonymous said...

The coffee cake looks delectable. Congrats on hosting the DB.

Reshmi said...

Hi Ria, first time here and must say u've awesome collection of recipes... Coffee cake looks super delicious.. perfectly baked.
love to follow u!!

Sheena said...

Ria, thank you so much for hosting this month's challenge! I loved the dough - it was so easy to work with, and your garam masala and chocolate filling sounds delicious, I'll definitely be trying it out.

Rose from Magpies Recipes said...

Soo beautiful Ria, truly great job by you and Jamie! Agree with lots of Dbrs that this was one of the best ever challenge recipes!

Priya dharshini said...

Congrats ,ria..Thank you so much for being such a great host.The recipe with a twist of saffron and garam masala in the Cake is jus OOwsome..

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Thanks for hosting this challenge with Jamie!

Your coffee cake is splendid! That filling is so interesting.



Jamie said...

Thanks, Ria, for inviting me along for this great ride! I did love the challenge and love, absolutely love this coffee cake and will be making it again and again. I was thrilled with your Indian version and can't wait to try it. Your cake is simply beautiful! xoxo

Nitha said...

Looks yumm...

Priya Suresh said...

Wat a gorgeous coffee cake, simply irresistible..

Renata said...

Ria, thank you so much for hosting this delicious challenge! I never would have imagined to use meringue to fill a yeasted cake! This recipe is a keeper!

Sudha said...

Oh wow...this sounds like an amazing challenge:)And you used Garam Masala in a cake - that sure was innovative!Lovely cake Ria!


chef_d said...

Thank you for hosting this month's Daring Bakers challenge, I had so much fun. I will try to make one again using garam masala and saffron :)

divya said...

Slurp...This looks so tempting....

Meena Thennaapan said...

Gorgeous coffee cake.
I'm sure this will be repeated quite often. Thank You

Ramya said...

Great job in hosting the challenge Ria:-)Hugs hugs...
I truly enjoyed making it..
We both loved it so much that, we finished half of it on same day:-)

juliana alonso dorola said...

great challenge! it was so much fun!

Justbeanme said...

Kya Baat Hai!!
The arrangements are so inviting.I love the color of the cake.It is so appealing and missy how did u come with that deadly combo!!GM and chocos???
BTW the cups are so cute i loved them the most.Were did u get that tell me tell me!!

Suz said...

I loved this challenge, thank you! I must try the spiced version - it sounds wonderful. :)

Ago said...

Nice to meet you Ria! :-D
I follow your direction for filling, so garam masala, and saffron in the dough! Verdict= delicious! One of the best brioche I've ever tasted! Thank you so so much! :-D

Swapna said...

Lovely cake. Ur lace border style perfectly suited my son's birthday cake. Awesome Ria:)

Sanctified Spaces said...

Oh my looks delicious Ria.I want a piece of the cake.

Sunitha said...

Good job on the cake. Looks great!

kellypea said...

Thanks very much for choosing this recipe. It inspired me to take on the DB challenges again :). Although I didn't choose the spices you used, I'd love to try the combo in bread or muffins at some point. They sound amazing. Gorgeous photos of yours!

Priyanka Agrawal said...

interesting blog u have and gr8 pics. would love to revisit


Torviewtoronto said...

looks wonderfully delicious perfect for tea time

Unknown said...

Congratulations on hosting Ria! That 'cake' looks awesome, you did a great job. You can totally call it your favorite DB ever :)

Ilke said...

Just posted mine but actually made it on the day it was due :)
Thanks for the recipe and the challenge! Loved it!

Swapna said...

Congrats on hosting DB Ria!... Cake lloks gorgeous! Never tried garam masala and chocolate...

Sanctified Spaces said...

Lovely yummy cake.Nice picture.You are truly a baking diva.

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