It is that time of the month again; here is the next Daring Bakers challenge.
The Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake is gorgeous brioche-like dough is rolled jellyroll style around a whipped meringue and filled with cinnamon, raisins, nuts and sugar. But you could do any filling you want sweet or savory. Then the roll could be baked as cinnamon rolls, shaped into a wreath, made as bread or anyways you want.
The cake is light and fluffy, barely sweet; the meringue miraculously melts into the dough as it bakes leaving behind just a hint of sweetness and adding to the perfect moistness of the cake. Don’t scrimp on either the chopped nuts or chocolate or whatever filling additions you choose as the crunch and the flavors are the focal point of this tender, moist, outrageously delicious coffee cake.
Filled Meringue Coffee Cake
Yields: on 10” coffee cake or loaf | Prep Time: 2 hour 30 minutes | Bake Time: 30 minutes
2 cups (300g) all purpose flour
2 tbsp (25g) sugar
¼ tsp (2.5g) salt
1 package (2 ¼ tsp/7g) active dried yeast
6 tbsp (90ml) whole milk
2 tbsp (30 ml) water
¼ (70g) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large egg at room temperature
For the meringue:
2 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp vanilla
¼ cup (55g) sugar
For the filling:
½ cup (55g) chopped pecans
1 tbsp (15g) brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup (90g) semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup (90g) golden raisins
Prepare the dough:
In a large mixing bowl, combine ¾ cups (115g) 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 egg and ½ cup (75 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 ¾ 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 (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 food process mix and chop all the ingredients and set aside.
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 ¼ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.
Assemble the Coffee Cakes:
Line a baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper, or butter a bread loaf, or what ever pan you are using.
Punch down the dough. On a lightly floured surface 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 your filling evenly over the meringue
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, or which ever pan you are using, seam side down. Bring the ends of the log around and seal the ends together if doing a circle.
If you are doing a wreath, using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife 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.
Cover the coffee cake with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Brush the top 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 allow to cool.
Decorate with powdered sugar or pearl sugar or anything you wish.