Sunday, 27 March 2011

Daring Bakers' Challenge No. 5 - March 2011 - Yeasted Meringue Cake.

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.

And, in case you get confused like me - no, there is no coffee in this cake.  I scoured the ingredients time and time again thinking I was missing something but apparently a coffee cake in this sense is one to be eaten alongside a cup rather than flavoured with coffee.

I was intrigued by the meringue in the cake. It turns out that it cooks into a chewy meringue in the bits that are exposed by the cuts in the dough whereas elsewhere it simply disappears leaving a sweet moisture within the cake.

I made my one with Jamie's version which included pecans, cinnamon and chocolate although I changed the pecans to almonds as that is what I had in the house.  

I ended up with something which very reminded me of something from a French patisserie - a bit pain au chocolate and a little bit Danish.

I think I should have put a little more chocolate in my one as I found it a little bit dry but Steve enjoyed it.  I was also inspired by other Bakers versions and would like to try a savoury version.  According to Audax (who made many versions - some rather surprising - check out the one made with sweeties!) the cheese and meringue mix to make a lovely gooey, oozy sauce.  I also liked versions made with apples and sultanas - yum.  Definitely one to try again with different fillings.

Recipe - 
Makes 2 cakes.

Ingredients - 

For the dough - 
600g plain flour
55g sugar
3/4 tsp salt
7g active dried yeast (I just bunged in a lump of fresh yeast)
180ml whole milk
60ml water
135g unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature

For the meringue - 
3 large egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
110g sugar

For the filling - 
110g flaked almonds
2 tbs granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (I used more)
170g plain chocolate chips (I just used what I had which probably wasn't as much as this and I think it really needed the full amount)

Egg wash - 1 beaten egg.

Method - 
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 230g of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.
2. In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over a medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted.
3. With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended.
4. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 mins.  Add the eggs and 150g flour and beat for 2 more mins.
5. Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together.
6. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough for 8-10 mins until the dough is soft, smooth, sexy and elastic.
7. 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 mins.
8. Prepare your filling.  In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
9. Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue.  In a clean mixing bowl (ideally plastic or metal so the egg whites adhere to the side), beat the egg whites with the salt, first on low speed for 30s then increase to high and continue beating until foamy and opaque.  
10. Add the vanilla then start adding the sugar a tbsp at a time as you beat until very stiff, glossy peaks form.
11. Assemble the cake.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
12. Punch down the dough and divide in half.  On a lightly floured surface, working one piece of dough at a time, rollout the dough into a 20"X10" rectangle.  
13. Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2" from the edges.  Sprinkle half the sugar/cinnamon mixture over the meringue followed by half the nuts and half the chocolate.
14. Now roll up the dough from the long side.  Pinch the seam closed to seal.  Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined baking 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.
15. Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along the outside edge at 1" intervals.  Make them as shallow or deep as desired.
16. Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings.
17. Cover the cakes with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 mins.
18. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
19. Brush the tops of the cakes with egg wash.
20. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 mins until risen and golden brown.
21. Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheets onto the table.  Very gently loosen from the paper and slide onto cooling racks.  Allow to cool.
22. Just before serving, dust the tops with icing sugar and cocoa powder.  Best eaten fresh the same day or the next day.


  1. I thought there was coffee too in this cake. Good job on this challenge.

  2. I find it amusing how the same thing can mean different things in different countries (ie: coffee cake). Your finished wreath looks so pretty and delicious!! Awesome work on the challenge!

  3. Oh, yes, at a first glance I did thing it involved coffee on the recipe :)
    Your cake is just fabulous!

  4. Well I have to say I was looking for the coffee in the ingredients too! Anyway, you did a lovely job.

  5. Wow the filling is awesome.. outstanding.. great job on the challenge. Fabulous !!!


  6. Looks so fluffy and yummy, great job on the challenge!

  7. looks really good but quite complicated... would really love a slice of that right now... also bet the kitchen smell was fab!

  8. Rachel - Thanks. Glad I wasn't the only one. Very impressed with your 3!

    Shelley - Thank you. I'm learning so much about baking in other countries since joining DBs. I really want to ry to make a braided danish like your one - looks amazing!

    Spontaneous Euphoria - :-) Like your blog.

    Renata - aw, thanks.

    Lisa Mary - Ha ha - that makes me feel better.

    Pavithra - Thank you.

    Rochelle - Cheers.

    Dom - Yes, it does look like a long recipe and I would never have made it if I wasn't in the DBs. Because of the rising times, it broke it down into small chunks and wasn't nearly as much work or as complicated as I had feared.

  9. I've been confused by the coffee cake thing in the past too. In fact, I was confused with this one. I just don't learn!

    Your wreath looks fab, so beautifully risen and fluffy. I bet it was delicious. :)

  10. Thank you Suzler. It needed a bit more chocolate but it will be delicious next time!

  11. Beautiful job on this challenge! Your cake sounds delicious, and the photo of the inside slice is just wonderful. I thought more chocolate would be good, too, so I kind of eyeballed the quantity rather than measured...! Too much chocolate? No such thing!
    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful creation!

  12. This recipe obviously caused confusion for a few of us looking for coffee in the ingredients!! We'll both have to try this again with HEAPS of chocolate and compare notes! ;)

  13. Haha! I remember as a kid (in America, where I should have known better) never wanting to try coffee cake because I hated coffee! Lovely job on the cake - I love how brown your bread is. I'm sure it will be even more delicious next time with more chocolate!! :) stacy

  14. It looks a lovely cake. You made a great job.

  15. Your cake looks wonderful. I love you filling choices and its shaped perfectly.

  16. WOWOWOWOW I adore the slashes in the cake and how you can see the different layers of the cake so cute and yes this type of cake is called a 'tea cake' in Australia. And the shape of the wreath is excellent well done on this challenge.

    Thank you for the kind words you left on my blog and the link to it also.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  17. Beautiful - looks so light and fluffy. Almonds sound like a delicious substitution and a great pairing with chocolate :o)

  18. I think the way the name reads 'Yeasted Meringie Coffee cake' could lead one to believe there's coffee in the meringue lol Beautiful job on your cake, it looks amazingly golden and delicious. Love the way the meringue stuffing in the cuts bulges out..luring us all in this challenge :)

  19. Umm..I meant 'Meringue' lol

  20. Beautiful coffee cake! I love flaked almo0nds! I must try!
    Great challenge!

  21. Your cake looks delicious! And I also got confused about the "coffee" first... :-)

  22. What a gorgeous cake! So delectable with the meringue!