Where have the last weeks gone? Is it possible that April is knocking on our door and that spring has already arrived?! The end of the month is nearing again, yet it feels as if I baked my last Daring Bakers challenge yesterday and not four weeks ago. I have the impression that I'm perpetuously running after time and can never fully take pleasure in what I'm doing because I can't even enjoy the present moment to the fullest and constantly have to project myself in the future...
Anyway, when I discovered the new DB recipe and found out that two of my favorite foodblogger friends had chosen it I was really thrilled and was looking forward to getting my robust Kitchen Aid working as it sounded very promising! The March 2011 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Ria of "Ria’s Collection" and Jamie of "Life’s a Feast" who challenged us to bake a yeasted "Meringue Coffee Cake".
Well, speaking of droolworthy delicacies, I must make a confession regarding that subject. Those of you who have been following my blog Rosa's Yummy Yums since a while might be aware that I am an atypical and unique individual who separates herself from the flock, likes being different from the others, loathes what is mainstream, so-called trendy and boringly conventional. In this way, some of my wildest dreams are a far cry from other people's dreams. Mine are mostly food-oriented and say a lot about my enthusiasm for the culinary world as well as my attachment to all things gourmet.
My fantasies are extravagant and rarely transposable into the real world. They are like scenes out of one of Roald Dahl's burlesque, trippy, strange and delirious children's books. For example, I love to imagine that I am in one of the most fantastic, immense and amazing bakeries that can possibly exist, and a bit like the little boy Charlie Bucket in "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory" (minus the eccentric Willy Wonka and his Oompa Loompas) I am free to wander alone around the laboratory as well as the store and gobble anything I fancy. This not being reality, I would have the capacity to swallow as many creamy entremets, flaky croissants, warm pains au chocolat, melt-in-the-mouth Danish pastries, deliciously savory canapés, flavorful pork pate, luxurious ham croissants, heavenly éclairs, fruitilicious tartlets, comforting pies, exquisite cakes, fragrant breads, toothsome candies and exquisite chocolates as I wish. The ultimate orgy! Just thinking about it makes me drool incontrolably and puts me in a state of trance.
You might think that I've gone totally bonkers and lost my mind, but while some of you wish to own a luxury car, to possess jewels worth a fortune, to be a star in Holywood or to buy designer clothes (like any other woman I love clothes and jewels, but I could never spend a fortune on them) I prefer to daydream about having the opportunity to go on a quest for rare, gourmet and quality ingredients or be lucky enough to taste the most gorgeous dishes and gastronomic creations that this world has to offer.
As you can see I am incredibly passionate about food. Nothing can make me quite as cheerfuly as when I am in my matchbox-sized kitchen buzzing around like a high-spirited bee frolicking effortlessly from one flower to another as if it were a graceful ballarina dancing with incredible lightness and buoyancy. It is a pastime that I cherish as it keeps me sane and balanced...
Bread baking is a particularly healthy activity that can be compared to meditation or yoga. A certain dose of effort has to be put into the task, but method and concentration are also required. Dough needs love, care and attention in order to give good results. If you don't put your heart into the job, there is a big chance that you'll get a mediocre loaf. But, on the contrary, if you are having a blast then the final product will be perfect as it is quite impossible that things will go wrong.
Eventhough life left me a few psychological scars (death of my English grandmother and of my much cherished cat Fridolin, family harrassment, etc...) lately, I still love preparing delectable chows for my friends, boyfriend and myself as this enterprise relieves the tension, makes me feel good and has a positive effect on my soul.
So, although I am still mourning the passing of my granny and kitty, the prospect of putting together a "Meringue Coffee Cake" filled me with joy. I needed to savagely knead some dough in order to evacuated the sadness, stress, anger and frustration that I have been accumulating since the beginning of this year.
This challenge was ideal for take a break from my worries/sorrows as the fabrication of this sweet bread posed no problem and the whole process went smoothly. I got the job done in a relaxed and calm manner. No hysterical effusions of a distempered brain were to be noticed and I didn't even pronounce the word "bloody hell" once (something very rare).
The recipe was followed to the letter, but as we were permitted to operate a few changes flavor-wise I decided to incorporate some ground tonka bean (not legal in the US) to the dough and to add orange zest to the filling. I also refrigerated my dough overnight and used more cinnamon than instructed.
Oh, what a divine and exhalirating smell filled the apartment while my "Meringue Coffee Cake" was in the oven! Waiting for it to get fully baked and cooled was a real torture. I craved this beautiful, fluffy, moist, spicy, buttery and nutty brioche so much that I started pacing up and down my place like an agitated tiger in a cage. I felt as desperate as a dog having to sit quietly and watch his master having lunch. Terrible.
Thankfully, the evening came soon enough and I was finally able to sample that droolworthy coffee cake. Biting into this soft, sweet and scrumptious slice of heaven I reached total zenitude and peace of mind...
This post was submitted to Yeastspotting.
~ Meringue Coffee Cake ~
Makes 2 round coffee cakes, each approximately 10 inches in diameter.
10 - 15 minutes preparation of the dough
8 – 10 minutes kneading
45 – 60 minutes first rise
10 – 15 minutes to prepare meringue, roll out, fill and shape dough
An additional 45 – 60 minutes for second rising
Approximately 30 minutes
Measuring cups for dry ingredients
Measuring cup for liquid
Cutting board and sharp knife for chopping nuts & chocolate if using
2 large mixing bowls
1 small mixing bowl
1 medium mixing bowl for beating egg whites, preferably plastic or metal
1 medium saucepan
Electric mixer or stand mixer
Clean kitchen scissors or sharp knife
Plastic wrap & clean kitchen towel
2 medium-sized baking trays (or 1 large if your oven is large enough)
Vegetable oil to grease bowl
"For The "Yeast Coffeecake Dough":
4 Cups (600g/1.5 lbs.) Plain flour
1/4 Cup (55g/2 oz.) Grannulated sugar
3/4 Tsp (5g/¼ oz.) salt
1/4 Tsp Ground tonka bean
1 Package (2 ¼ Tsp/7g/less than an ounce) Active dried yeast
3/4 Cup (180ml/6 fl.oz.) Whole milk
1/4 Cup (60ml/2 fl. oz.) Water
1/2 Cup (135g/4.75 oz.) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Large eggs, at room temperature
Ingredients For The "Filling":
1 Cup (110g/4 oz.) Chopped pecans
2 Tbs (30g/1 oz.) Light brown sugar
2 Tsp Ground cinnamon
Zest of one orange
1 Cup (170g/6 oz.) Semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate
Ingredients "For The Meringue":
3 Large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 Tsp Fine sea salt
1/2 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
1/2 Cup (110g/4 oz.) Grannulated sugar
Ingredients For The "Egg Wash":
1 Egg, beaten
Pearl sugar for sprinkling
Method "For The "Yeast Coffeecake Dough":
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups (230g) of the flour, the sugar, salt, tonka and yeast.
2. In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted.
3. With an electric mixe r o n 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.
4. Add the eggs and 1 cup (150g) 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.
5. 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.
6. Place the dough in a lightly greased 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).
Method For The "Filling":
7. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, sugar, zest, chocolate chips and nuts for the filling.
Method For The "Meringue":
8. 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.
9. Add the vanilla then start adding the ½ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.
Method For "Assemling The Coffeecakes":
10. Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.
11. Punch down the dough and divide in half.
12. 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 51 x 25.5cm (20 x 10-inch) rectangle. 13. Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 3/4cm (1/2-inch) from the edges.
14. Sprinkle half of your filling evenly over the meringue.
15. Now, roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side.
16. Pinch the seam closed to seal.
17. Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined cookie sheets, seam side down.
18. 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.
19. Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife (scissors are easier), make cuts along the outside edge at 2.5cm (6.3 inch) 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.
20. Cover the 2 coffee cakes with plastic wrap or a humid towel and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.
21. Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).
22. Brush the tops of the coffee cakes with the egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar.
23. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown (the dough should sound hollow when tapped).
24. 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.
25. Allow to cool completely.
These are best eaten fresh, the same day or the next day.
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 (if not using pearl sugar).
Eat for breakfast or afternoon tea.
Etant donné que je suis en vacance et que je n'ai pas beaucoup de temps pour bloguer, je n'ai malheureusement pas pu faire une traduction française de ce billet et je m'en excuse auprès de tous mes amis lecteurs et blogueurs francophones!
C'est pourquoi je vous suggère de vous rendre sur le blog mentionné ci-dessous. Vous y trouverez cette recette en version française.
Chez Isa de "Les Gourmandises d'Isa" (Canada)