Yeasted Meringue Coffee cake filled with Chocolate and Pistachio

Daring bakers challenge time.. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and put your hands wrist deep in some smooth, silky dough and create something oh-so sweet!
This month’s challenge is hosted by Ria and Jamie.The two lovely ladies have challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.
The cake is light and fluffy, barely sweet; the meringue miraculously melts into the dough as it bakes leaving behind just a hint of sweetness.
The nuttiness from pistachios and the slight bitterness from dark chocolate make the cake a perfect accompaniment for a hot coffee.

For the yeast coffee cake dough:
2 cups (300gms.) flour
2tbspn Sugar
Pinch of salt
1 ¼ tspn Active dried yeast
¼ Cup Whole Milk
2 tbspn water
¼ Cup butter
1 whole egg

For the meringue:
2 large egg whites at room temperature ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon vanilla 2 tbspn sugar

For the filling:
1/4 cup chopped Pistachios, 1/4 Cup Dark chocolate Chips, 1 Tablespoons granulated sugar,1/2 tspn Cinnamon powder

Prepare the dough:
In a large mixing bowl mix 100gms of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.
In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted.
With an electric mixer on 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. Add the egg and 100gms flour and beat for 2 more minutes.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining 100 gms flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface 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 . 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.

Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue: In a clean mixing bowl – ideally a plastic– 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 a cookies pan with parchment paper.
Punch down the dough .On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch (about 51 x 25 ½ cm) rectangle. Spread the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch (3/4 cm) from the edges. Sprinkle the filling of choice evenly over the meringue
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 sheet, 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.
Cover the coffee cake 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 cake with the milk. 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 cake from the paper with a large spatula and carefully slide the cakes off onto cooling racks. Allow to cool.

Brunch Cake

This recipe is from one of my beloved recipe book…Cakes from Pageone
In fact this is the first cookbook I bought once I got hooked on baking….Almost 3 years back
I have tried almost half of the recipes from it and its totally fool proof. As the pics in the book all cakes came out absolutely delicious.
I tried most of the recipes from this book on my first oven, the small countertop oven.
When I moved to our current place I got a real big built-in oven but sadly my little cook book vanished. I thought we must have lost it during the move.
This weekend when I was going thru the pile of folders looking for a doc, I saw my dearest cookbook happily hiding inside one of those folders.The next thing I did was to bake one cake from the book right away:-)
Needless to say I totally forgot about the doc I was looking for!!!
Anyways coming to the recipe, as the name says Brunch cake is a perfect item for Brunch, totally guilt free, luscious n healthy with a perfect combination of fruit and nuts
Here goes the recipe
1/ 2 Cup + 1tbspn Packed brown Sugar
3/4 Cup All purpose Flour
1 whole egg + 1 egg white
2 tbspn Oil
1 tspn Vanilla extract
1/2 tspn Cinnamon powder
1/2 tspn All Spice powder
1/2 tspn Baking powder
1/4 tspn Baking Soda
Pinch of salt
2 Granny smith apples, Grated
1/2 Cup Pecans Chopped
1/4 Cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 180 Degree
Mix Brown sugar, eggs, flour, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, spice powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl .
Using an electric mixer or whisk beat until all ingredients are well blended.
Stir in grated apples, pecans, raisins.
Pour the batter to a buttered square pan.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted at the center of the cake comes out clean.

If you prefer, give it a topping of your choice. I chose to give it a caramel topping..
For the topping you need about ¼ Cup caramel bits and a tablespoon of cream.
Heat the caramel melts in microwave for a min or two until the chips melts slightly.
Stir in the cream and mix well.
Spread the topping over the cooled cake and let it rest for 20 min for the topping to set..

And have a great brunch!!!

Rosemary and Basil Focaccia

The Dimpled Italian flat bread is one of my favorite bread. There are no limit to the ways you can improvise on the focaccia bread.
You can top up the focaccia with almost anything..spice..herbs..veggies..
This fluffy, crunchy ,soft bread is the best accompaniment for a hot bowl of soup
To make the perfect focassia you need about 16-20 hrs…The more the better!!
After reading the step by step focaccia recipe in Joe’s space, I decided to give it a try..
After the macaroon disaster episodes I was not so optimistic about the end result..
But 10 min after I put the bread in the oven the smell was soooo wonderful !! I was assured that it is going to be one yummy bread..

We had some hot bread with some Balsamic vinegar and Olive oil and the rest we had for dinner with Cream of Broccoli Soup

Recipe Source : Joe’ wonderful space. He has given a very detailed pictorial recipe.

So here goes the recipe

For Starter
A pinch of Instant yeast dissolved in 60 ml water
60 gms All purpose flour

Dissolve the yeast in water.
Pour the yeast solution to the flour and mix well using a fork, the batter will be lumpy..No worries
Cover and let it rest for about 12 hours.
After 12 hours you will see that the starter is perfectly bubbled …You are half way now.

For Focassia
Starter Dough [You will need to use the entire starter you prepared which will be around 250 grms]
250 gms Bread flour
1/8th tspn Instant Yeast
1/2 tspn salt
20 ml Olive oil
1/2 tbspn Honey
75-100 ml Luke warm water
Toppings as per your taste and creativity

Combine all ingredients with 75 ml water in a mixer bowl.
Fix in the dough hook and beat on low for a minute till all ingredients are well coated with water/Olive oil.
Now on medium speed continue to knead for 10 minutes.
The dough should be smooth and still wet, so if you dough is too stiff, continue to add water while mixing.
As per Joe the consistency should be like Melted Mozzarella cheese

Now transfer the dough to a oiled bowl, cover and let it rise till its double. It will take about 3-4 hours.
Meanwhile oil a 10 by 10 inch baking tray.
Once dough has risen , punch it down .Lightly oil your hands and stretch and dough and spread it in pan.
Let proof one more hour, or until the dough starts to get puffy again and spreads out nearly to the corners of the sheet pan.
Just before you put into oven, make deep depressions in the dough with your fingers and pop any large bubbles.I sprinkled some Dried Rosemary and Basil and drizzled some olive oil .
Bake for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven at 450 Degrees until golden

Award time!!!

Saturday morning I saw a message from Priya that she had a surprise waiting for me in her blog
And the surprise was…
Yeyyyyy, my Sticky Toffee Pudding was one among the top 3 Best Western Desserts.
Is there a better way to start the weekend than this!!!!
Needless to say I was thrilled and running around the house:-)
Priya …u made my day…Hugs hugs….

All 3 recipes were reviewed by Jan Silverman ,a big thanks to Jan for her generous comments. You can read her reviews about our desserts here.
My hearty congrats to other two winners ,do check out their wonderful recipes , Molten Chocolate Cake from Paaka Shaale and Chocolate Banana Cake from Anna's Table

Kueh Lapis /Thousand layer cake and another Macaroon disaster

The first half of the weekend was quite  disappointing with yet another failed macaroon episode.
I have been trying to make macaroons for past two weeks and somehow the piped macaroons never dry. It is always sticky
I waited for 1..2.3..4 hours…put the tray under Fan, moved the tray to Aircon room .Still it refuse to dry.After a long 4 hrs wait , I went ahead and baked the cookies..The depth of the disaster I will leave it to your imagination..
Finally I put the blame on the humid Singapore weather..
Ladies, if you know any macaroon tips on how to make the piped macaroons dry , please please enlighten me…

Anyways after the failed macaroon saga , I am left with a lot of egg yolks..
I had bookmarked this video sometime back and decided to give it a try.
And that was the famous Indonesian Indulgence and a baker’s challenge -Kueh Lapis.
I won’t say it’s a test on your baking skills, rather it’s a real test of your patience levels..I mean a real test

Kueh lapis or thousand layer cake is a super rich n tasty Kueh with thin layers of cakes.
Each layer is spread out and grilled/baked separately. The result--the most moist and delicious cake. I bet you can’t stop at jus one piece

A word of caution it’s a very time consuming process, so unless you have solid 3-4 hours in hand, don’t try this.
But if you can spare some time, go ahead and try. It’s totally worth the effort..
Since it’s my first attempt, I won’t say it’s the best, but definitely tasted good and got lot of Oooo and yumm from my dear colleagues..

I am definitely gona try this again sometime soon, once I have gathered enough Patience :-)
Next time I will add Dried Prunes in-between the layers.

So without further adieu, here is recipe of Kueh Lapis
Recipe Source: Youtube Video from Here

Butter 220gms
All Spice powder 1/2 Tbspn
Vanilla essence 1/2 Tbspn
Egg Yolks 10
Sugar 70 gms
Cake Flour 60 gms

Sugar 50 Gms

Pre-heat the oven to 150 degree.
Whisk the egg whites till foamy, add the sugar and continue to beat till stiff peaks are formed
In another bowl, cream the butter. Add the spice powder and Vanilla essence and continue to beat until the butter is really creamy
Beat the egg yolks for a few minutes, add in the sugar and continue to beat till it thickens. This will take a bit long about 8-10 minutes of beating.
Once the egg yolks has turned thick .Add this to butter mixture and continue to beat until all are mixed well.

Now using a spatula, gently fold in the egg whites in 3 batches.
Make sure that there are no big air pockets because of the egg whites.

Increase the oven temperature to 200 Degree, place the rack on the top most slot.

Line a rectangular pan with parchment paper and drop about a ½ tsp butter .Keep the pan in oven for few seconds
Take the pan out; butter would have melted by now. Tilt the pan and make sure that the base of the tin is well coated with butter
No need to grease the side of the pan.

Spoon about 3 tablespoons of batter and spread it using a spoon evenly in the base.
Bake for 8-15 minutes till the top has turned Golden brown. The baking time totally depend on the oven, for me it took about 12 minutes to get the top browned
Take out the pan and test using a cake tester/toothpick. If there are any big bubbles formed, poke it using the toothpick.

Using a wide spatula, gently press down the cake.
Brush some melted butter on top of the cake layer.

Spoon in another 2 tablespoon of batter and repeat the same process, of baking, smoothing and brushing with melted butter.
Repeat till the batter is over.

*If the top is getting browned too quickly and the cake tester is not coming out clean . Move the rack to the middle of the oven and lower the temperature to 180 Degree

There you have the Famous Indonesia Indulgence- Kueh Lapis

Off this goes to Crazy for Cakes event hosted by Priya


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