Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yeasted Meringue Chocolate Coffee 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.

For this challenge, I decided to incorporate chucks of quality, bittersweet chocolate, resulting in a decadent slice of coffee cake. The thin layer of meringue melts seamlessly into the cake, leaving only a trace of fluffiness where it once covered.  While a slice of this sweet treat would be delicious at any point during the day, I most enjoy it with an afternoon cup of coffee.


Yeasted Meringue Chocolate Coffee Cake
adapted from Martha Stewart Living, March 2011
active time 30 minutes
total time 4 hours 40 minutes
makes 1 loaf, about 10-12 servings

2¼ teaspoons (one ¼-ounce envelope) active dry yeast
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons plus a pinch of granulated sugar
¾ cup warm whole milk (110°F)
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk (reserve egg white for meringue)
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
Coarse salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash

1 egg white, room temperature
3 teaspoons granulated sugar
Pinch salt

Chocolate Filling
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (1¼ cups)
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces

Crumb Topping
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Preparation Instructions
Make the cake: Sprinkle yeast and a pinch of granulated sugar over milk in a medium bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Whisk together remaining ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, the egg, and yolk. Whisk into yeast mixture.

Combine flour and ½ teaspoon salt in the bowl of a mixer. Add egg mixture. Beat on low speed until almost fully combined, about 30 seconds. Switch to the dough-hook attachment. Add butter. Beat until smooth, soft, and slightly sticky, about 10 minutes.

Prepare a large bowl with non-stick spray. Turn out dough onto a floured surface; knead a few times until smooth. Place in bowl, turn to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Make the meringue: In a clean mixing bowl beat the egg white with the salt, until foamy and opaque. Start adding the sugar, a teaspoon at a time, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.

Make the filling: Combine chocolate, granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until combined.

Punch down dough. Transfer to a floured work surface. Let stand for 5 minutes. Roll out to an 18-inch square (about 1/8 inch thick). Brush edges with egg wash. Spread the meringue evenly over the dough up to about ½-inch from the edges. Spread filling over meringue. Tightly roll dough like a jelly roll. Pinch seam to seal, and fold in half to bring ends together to form a U. Twist 2 or 3 times to "braid." Prepare a 5-by-10-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray, and line with parchment, leaving 1-inch overhangs; spray parchment with non-stick spray. Transfer dough to pan. Brush top with egg wash.

Make the crumb topping: Combine confectioners' sugar, flour, and butter. Sprinkle topping over cake.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Drape plastic wrap over dough. Let stand in a warm place until risen by half, 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove plastic wrap, and bake, rotating halfway through, until golden, about 55 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Bake until deeply golden, 15 to 20 minutes more (cover with foil if top gets too dark). Transfer pan to a wire rack. Let cake cool.


  1. This looks so beautiful as a loaf - and I am absolutely loving your detailed photos. Incredible job!

  2. Oh yum - all of that chocolate looks sinfully delicious. An I love thatyou made it a loaf with that delicious looking crumb topping, to give it more of a classic coffee cake look and feel. Really great job!!

  3. WOWOWOW that looks so delectable and scrumptious and that crumb topping is over the top LOL LOL. Bravo to you well done.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  4. This looks great! I'm going to add it to my monthly round-up of great food blog posts! Thanks :)

  5. Your loaf looks so delicious. I really like the crumb topping- nice touch
    Best, Sandie

  6. I love the photos telling the story and how I LOVE crumb topping on my cakes! Absolutely gorgeous, well done!

  7. Great job on your challenge this month - I love that you did yours 'loaf' style, and your photos are absolutely beautiful!

  8. This looks so beautiful! I love the idea of the layer of meringue. So unique!

  9. This was my very first Daring Bakers and I found it so difficult to photograph. Your pictures are gorgeous, though. Congrats !

  10. oh my, this sounds amazing! I think I'll have to join the Daring Bakers.

    Your step by step photos are lovely.

  11. Great shaping and beautiful pictures!

  12. This is a babka! Thought you should know...

    Looks yummy...


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