Today was an all-day feast thanks to Foodbuzz 24×24.
Let’s start with breakfast.
Yeasted Vanilla Meringue Cake.
I dreamt up the concept in my head.
Luckily, when Foodbuzz accepted my 24×24 proposal, I didn’t have to completely dream up the recipe either.
THANK YOU Daring Bakers!
MERINGUE COFFEE CAKE
Makes 2 round coffee cakes, each approximately 10 inches in diameter. I had adapted and halved the recipe below.
- For the yeast coffee cake dough:
- 4 cups flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dried yeast
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water (doesn’t matter what temperature)
- 1/3 cup oil
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
For the meringue:
- 3 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup sugar
For the filling:
- 1 cup nuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup dried fruit
- 1/2 cup (170 g / 6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate
Egg wash: 1 beaten egg
Prepare the dough:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups (230 g) of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast. Add the wet ingredients.
- 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.
Prepare your filling:
- In a small bowl, combine the filling.
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. Add the vanilla then start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.
Assemble the Coffee Cakes:
- Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- 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 (ex: half of the cinnamon-sugar followed by half the chopped nuts and half of the chocolate chips/chopped chocolate).
- 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 2 coffee cakes with plastic wrap and allow them 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.
This brioche like cake was soft, lightly sweetened and loved by not only my family but also our spontaneous visitors.
And after we stuffed ourselves silly with cake, we played around while waiting for lunch.
Clearly Ikea is the place for play.
But after all the fun and games with the furniture, we got hungry.
Time for lunch!
Using Peter Reinhart’s Napoletana Pizza Dough recipe, I had made two pizzas. One with white whole wheat flour topped with broccoli, sweet potatoes, and caramelized onions.
The other is made with all-purpose flour topped with Chinese Cha Siu (BBQ pork), corn, caramelized onions, and avocados.
I didn’t try the one made with all-purpose flour because it had meat in it but my family told me that after trying both kinds, they actually preferred the one with the BBQ pork. They liked that the dough was a bit thinner on the second pizza, and not so much taste like thick bread.
Finally–as if we were not already all carbed out for the day, we made scallion and brown sugar Chinese pancakes for dinner.
My aunt is the pro when it comes to thin, crispy, flaky pancakes, so I let her take the lead on this.
Brown Sugar Pancakes.
All in all, this has been a great day and a great start to a Memorial Day weekend. I must admit that all this yeasting and carb loading has drained the energy out of me and I’ve never been more ready to head straight for bed as I am right now.
Thank you so much Foodbuzz for letting my imagination run wild and helping me turn my imagination into reality. Foodbuzz, you’ve made a lot of people happy and disgustingly full today :)