Monday, March 28, 2011

Mets la main à la pâte/Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake my way for Daring Bakers

“A cup of coffee - real coffee - home-browned, home ground, home made, that comes to you dark as a hazel-eye, but changes to a golden bronze as you temper it with cream that never cheated, but was real cream from its birth, thick, tenderly yellow, perfectly sweet, neither lumpy nor frothing on the Java: such a cup of coffee is a match for twenty blue devils and will exorcise them all.”

– H. W. Beecher

I dont have to tell you about how much I love coffee everything and being a coffee snob I simply love good coffee....I am no Barista and definitely can't brew a fancy one like Starbucks, but can manage to make a decent cuppa. I particularly love incorporating coffee in baking. So I found this inspiration from Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte and made a Pumpkin spiced Coffee -Hazelnut Chocolate Meringue cake for the Daring Bakers. 
The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a FeastRia and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake, a gorgeous brioche-like dough is rolled jellyroll style around a whipped meringue and filling of our choice, shaped into a wreath and baked.Pumpkin spiced Coffee -Hazelnut Chocolate Meringue cake

For the yeast coffee cake dough (I halved the recipe to make 1)
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) instant yeast
¾ cup (180 ml / 6 fl. oz.) whole milk
1 tsp instant coffee like Starbucks VIA
¼ cup (60 ml) pumpkin purée
1 tsp pumpkin spice
½ cup (135 g / 4.75 oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups (230 g) of the flour, coffee, sugar, salt, pumpkin purée, spice and yeast. In a saucepan, combine the milk, 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 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.
For the Filling:
150g hazelnuts toasted and skinned & roughly chopped
150g dark chocolate (atleast 70% cocoa chopped)
1 heaped tsp cornstarch
Combine the chopped chocolate, nuts and cornstarch in a small bowl, and set aside.Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue.
For the meringue

3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup (110 g / 4 oz.) sugar
Place the whites in a clean mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until frothy. With the mixer running, slowly add sugar and continue beating until very stiff, glossy peaks form.
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.
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 coffee cake with plastic wrap and allow 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: Absolutely loved the pumpkin-coffee flavoured bread with a surprise hazelnut-chocolate meringue on the inside. The flavours worked like charm and will definitely be baking more of these. My friend who gave up desserts for Lent cheated a bit and had this for breakfast, which I think is a fantastic idea. Thanks Jamie & Ria for such a great challenge.


Pavithra Elangovan said...

Looks awesome beautiful color for the crumbs and yummy filling. Stunning pictures !!!

pri said...

Coffee and hazelnut go very well together. I really liked the texture of this cake. priya

Sneige said...

Hello, I was thinking of trying this recipe, but finally gave up. I like how your version turned out, very nice well defined rounds of filling and dough. Great idea with the yellow pumpkin spice! Too bad I stopped drinking coffe, I'm intrigued by the spiced latte!

BKEnergy said...

Wondering how this will taste depending on where the beans are sourced from?Q

Anonymous said...

The neatest version of the coffee meringue cake I witnessed so far. great work.

Renata said...

You did a beautiful job on the challenge, Arthi! Your flavors are mouthwatering and you actually managed to keep a great bit of your meringue visible, mine disappeared! Your photos are stunning and the color of your cake is superb!

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