(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.)

Another month of yeast!  I’m getting pretty good with yeast breads now.  It’s been quite a while since I had one flop, so I make them more often, and practice makes me better.  It’s a delicious cycle.

This was a basic sweet dough – mix the dry ingredients, then melt a stick of butter in warm milk, add it to the dry ingredients, add some eggs, mix, and knead.  The recipe called for 10 minutes of kneading by hand, but I just used my stand mixer.

I found these great containers for letting bread rise:  6-Quart Round Food-Storage Container with Lid.  They come in a pack of two – I gave one to my sister for Christmas with a no-knead bread book, and kept the other. The marks on the side make it easy to tell when dough has doubled.  It went from this:

Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

To this, in just over an hour:

Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

I didn’t take any meringue pictures, but it was just a very basic meringue – beat (room-temperature) eggs until foamy, then slowly add sugar and beat until shiny, stiff peaks.  The dough is supposed to be rolled out into a rectangle, but I always fail at this, because my doughs never want to roll into rectangles.  Vaguely rectangular blobs, yes, but never rectangles.  I want my superpower to be the ability to point at a blob of dough and say “You!  20×10 rectangle!  Now!” and just have it happen.

Once I got the dough as rectangular as it was going to be, I spread the meringue on top.   There wasn’t enough to spread it very thick – it mostly just acted as glue to hold the rest of the filling.

This was the rest of the filling – a cup of pecans and a cup of good chocolate chips:

 Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

Yes, I was short some pecans and made up for it with some extra chocolate.

The dough gets rolled up, jelly-roll style, and formed into a round.  Mine isn’t even because my dough wasn’t perfectly rectangular, so I had more in the middle then I did on the ends.

Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

Let it rise for another hour.  I left it on the counter and went out to dinner.  When it’s done, brush with an egg wash and, bake at 350 for half an hour.

Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

Let cool.  Slice and eat, preferably with coffee.

Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

It was good.  I didn’t think the meringue added much, but I loved the chocolate and the nuts.  It had just the right sweetness to go with coffee.  I’d probably make it again, maybe with a cinnamon filling and some cinnamon chips instead of the chocolate.

Overall, a fun recipe!  I look forward to next month.

( see the recipe )