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've gotten pretty good at these yeast filled breads as I've made several over the last few months. They aren't for everyone, but my husband and I really enjoy them.
I wanted to keep the actual bread recipe as close to the original as possible and decided to play with the fillings. Each recipe makes two different coffee cakes so I went with two very different fillings. The first was a milk and dark chocolate blend with hazelnuts and the second was a cranberry, white chocolate, and almond filling with spices.
The making of the bread and fillings is time consuming. To make the meringue, the fillings, roll up the bread, and make the ring took me 45 minutes alone. However, this dough is awesome! It came out crisp and brown on the outside but is so soft on the inside. The chocolate and hazelnut one was perfect with a cup of coffee for dessert. The cranberry one had a burst of flavor including ginger, a hint of lemon, and the cranberry. They were totally different but both amazing! I can't wait to try other flavor combinations with this dough.
Filled Meringue Coffee Cake (adapted from a recipe Jamie found in her house)
For the coffee cake:
4 ¼ c. flour
⅓ c. sugar
1 t. salt
1 package (2 ¼ t.) yeast
¾ c. milk (I used low fat)
¼ c. water
½ c. butter, at room temperature
For the meringue:
4 large egg whites (reserving 2 of the yolks for the egg wash)
¼ t. salt
½ t. vanilla
½ c. sugar
¼ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cranberry, white chocolate, and almond filling:
½ c. dried cranberries
1 T. sugar
2 T. chopped candied ginger
zest 1 lemon
¼ c. almonds, chopped
¼ c. white chocolate chips
1. In a large mixing bowl combine 1 ½ c. flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Mix well.
2. In a small saucepan heat the milk, water, and butter over medium heat until most of the butter melts and the mixture is just warm. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes.
5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning to coat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap, then a clean kitchen towel. Place somewhere warm and let rise 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size.