March Daring Bakers’ Challenge – Filled Meringue Coffee Cake

The March 2011 Daring Bakers’ 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.

Just like Ria and Jamie, Strudel and Streusel decided to make the coffee cake two different ways.

(By the way, please excuse all the third-person language in this post; it’s just for ease of reading. We promise we don’t speak this way in real life)

Streusel chose to fill hers with Ria’s version of filling which contains garam masala.  Delightful.

Yeasted sweet dough

4 c. all purpose flour

1/4 c. sugar

3/4 t. salt

2 1/4 t. active dry yeast

1 c. 1% milk (original recipe called for 3/4 c. whole milk + 1/4 c. water)

1/2 c. unsalted butter

2 large eggs at room temperature

Meringue

3 large egg whites at room temperature

1/4 t. salt

1/2 t. vanilla

1/2 c. sugar

Filling

1 c. chopped cashews

2 T. sugar

1/2 t. garam masala (I wished I would have used 1 t.)

1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

In a saucepan combine the milk and butter and heat until warm and the butter is just melted.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine half the flour and all of the sugar, salt and yeast.

Turn the mixer on low and slowly pour in the butter milk mixture.

Add the eggs and mix slowly.

Add the rest of the flour a half cup at a time and knead until the dough is soft and doesn’t stick to the bowl.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl  and cover with a shower cap.

Let double in size which will take about an hour.

While the dough is doubling combine the filling and set aside.

When the dough is ready preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make the meringue by first beating the salt and egg whites.

Then add the vanilla and sugar and beat until the peaks start to stiffen.  Set aside.

Split the dough in half and roll out the first half on a floured work surface to approximately 20 x 10 inches.

Spread half of the meringue on the dough and then half of the nut filling.

Roll up the length of the dough and form into a ring.

One half I twisted into a bread pan much like babka instead of a ring.

Let rise for about 45 minutes.

Brush on a beaten egg and then sprinkle with sanding sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool completely before cutting.

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Strudel chose Jamie’s version, filled with pecans and chocolate. It was also delightful and delicious, cheerfully enjoyed by man, woman, and a dog named Wally.

Dough recipe is same as above.

Filling is as follows:

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate

The final (shiny!) version looked like this:

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