Monday, March 28, 2011

Daring Bakers' March Challenge - Yeasted Meringue 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.

Sometimes, my behaviour doesn’t make any sense. I’ve been very busy these past couple of weeks, among other things preparing for my predoctoral exam (which I passed, yay!) – hence the lack of posting. I took my exam on Thursday, crashed and rested on Friday, motivated myself to do this month’s Daring Bakers’ challenge on Saturday… and just completely forgot to post about it on Sunday. Actually, I remembered at some point during the day, then just forgot all about it again. Anyways, I’ve posted later than this before, so I’m sure you’ll forgive me.

This yeasted, meringue-filled coffee cake looked intimidating when I first skimmed the recipe, but it turned out to be pretty easy in practice. The rich bread-like dough (almost like a light brioche) was a dream to work with, so smooth and flexible. I love that the recipe used the word “sexy” to describe it, it’s pretty accurate! After rising, the dough was rolled flat, smeared with meringue and sprinkled with a sweet filling. Out of two filling options, I chose the cashew-based one, with garam masala. I was very curious about how garam masala would taste in a sweet bread – I’d only ever used it in curries. I was afraid it might be too strong, but it was actually really subtle, and went well with the dark chocolate and nuts.

The cake came out looking pretty good, but I could have baked it a tad less, as the crumb was a tiny bit dry. As I mentioned, I loved the filling, but I’m puzzled by what happened to the meringue. You can see it in through the decorative cuts all around the edges of the cake, but I was expecting to see a swirl on the inside of each slice. Where did the meringue go? Laurent and I both liked the fact that this cake wasn’t too sweet. In fact, Laurent, who usually dislikes having pastry for breakfast other than the occasional weekend croissant (muffins and scones are banned from the breakfast table, much to my dismay), volunteered to eat it every morning!

Thank you, Ria and Jamie, for hosting a pleasant, original challenge! Please check out the Daring Kitchen for the challenge recipes, and the Daring Bakers’ blogroll to see what all the other bakers concocted this month!


  1. Valerie, I love how poofy and 'stuffed' your cake looks. The photo is so perfect, I literally reached out as if to 'pull off a hunk' while talking on the phone! LOL Good to hear the garam masala went well with the chocolate, as I'd like to try it. Phenomenal, delicious looking, wreath!

  2. Looks delicious! I too found that the meringue seemed to disappear - I guess it's just something to try again and see what happens?

  3. Congrats on passing the exam!Seems like the meringue is the sticky part for most. But indeed your bread fluffed up so nice and it looks delicious.

  4. Congratulations on the exam and congratulations on your super successful coffee cake! It looks fantastic!

  5. Congrats on the exam well done and the final cake is smashing and nice to hear that it goes down so well with a non-sweet eater for breakfast. Lovely pixs.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  6. Congratulations! Your yeasted meringue cake looks delicious!

  7. Congrats on the exam! You must be so relieved! And excellent job on the coffee cake - it looks absolutely beautiful, and from the pictures, I would never guess that it was dry or over baked or anything at all, other than perfectly delicious. Wonderful job.

  8. This looks absolutely gorgeous. I wandered about it when I saw the title. Predoctoral exam? What is your thesis? What are you studying. How fantastic for you! YEAH!

  9. Congratulations on passing your predoctoral exam!! Yeah to you!!

    Good work, my friend! :) Soory that I haven't been visiting a lot lately but my husband & I just bought our dreamhouse in Mechelen, 20 km north of Brussels!

    Your coffee cake looks just wonderful & ooh so stylish too,..mmmmm:)