This months Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Jamie of Life’s a Feast and Ria of Ria’s Collection . Jamie found this recipe on a piece of yellowed paper in her dad’s collection of clipped out and hand-written recipes from the 1970’s, no source, and no date. I had never heard of a yeast bread filled with meringue before. The original version of the recipe is filled with chopped walnuts, chocolate and cinnamon. Please check out some of my fellow bakers creations here, they are certainly a wonder. I chose to fill mine with homemade raspberry preserves and chocolate. Though, I must admit, my first attempt was a total bust. When I first saw this challenge I thought to myself, “no sweat” and put it off. Well, when I first made it last week, I was trying to be fancy with the shaping and ended up having my filling ooze out all over the counter (the first filling was raspberry and toasted coconut). So, after seeing that that wasn’t such a good idea, on the second attempt I stuck with a simple loaf. The original recipe was also doubled, making two loaves, but I felt that was just too much and cut the recipe in half, as seen below. I must also mention, the recipe states to let the dough rise for about one hour, or until double in size. Since it has butter and egg in it, it will actually take longer than that because of the fat. Just keep on eye on it and it will rise beautifully. It will have such a lovey feel to it when you roll it out. Bake on….
FILLED MERINGUE COFFEE CAKE
Makes 1 round coffee cakes, approximately 10 inches in diameter
For the yeast coffee cake dough:
2 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
1/8 cup ( 27 g / 1 oz) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/8 teaspoons / 3.5 g ) active dried yeast
scant 1/2 cup (90 ml / 3 fl oz) whole milk
1/8 cup (30 ml / 1 fl oz) water
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
seeds from 1 vanilla bean (optional)
1/4 cup (67 g / 2.5 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
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 raspberry preserves
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3/4 (115 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 (using the paddle attachment)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, almond extract, and vanilla seeds (if using) and 1/2 cup (75 g) flour and beat for 2 more minutes.
Switch to the dough hook. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth, and elastic. Alternately, you can do this all by hand using a large metal bowl and a wooden spoon. Knead on a floured countertop for 8-10 minutes.
Place the dough in a lightly greased (I use PAM) 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. Mine took 2 hours to rise.
Place the dough has doubled, make the meringue:
In a clean mixing bowl – ideally a 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.
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 the raspberry preserves evenly over the rectangle up to 1/2 inch from the edges. Spread the meringue evenly over the preserves. Sprinkle the chocolate evenly over the meringue.
Now, roll up the dough jelly roll 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. Cut small slits down the center, or 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.
Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings.
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