Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bourbon Street Madness Caramel Apple Meringue Coffee Cake

Too much unwelcome drama in the hood doesn't make for a happy Daring Baker this month. But cooking does provide an escape, so I welcomed a little Saturday morning baking to unwind and get into my zone. I focused on how much we have to look forward to when we move to our new house in a few months. We're staying in Coronado, but it was time to make a change to something a bit larger, and much more private. Did I mention loads of charm and a fabulous outdoor entertaining space? Did I mention a breakfast nook with beautiful, natural light, perfect for my blog-ography studio? Dooley's just beside himself and so very excited about his new yard, with grass and a huge shady tree for those morning, afternoon, and evening Newfie naps. We're all ready for an awesome summer of Friday night cocktails and hors d'Ĺ“uvres, and another challenging season of Concert in the Park themed-picnics! In the meantime, just help me through the next few months.

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.

Our hostesses instructed us to roll up our sleeves, put our hands wrist-deep in some smooth, silky dough, and create a yeast-risen coffee cake - a brioche-like dough, rolled jellyroll style around a layer of whipped meringue and our chosen filling, shaped into a wreath, and baked.

"Beautiful to put together, and gorgeous out of the oven, the cake is light and fluffy,
barely sweet, and the meringue miraculously melts into the dough as it bakes,
leaving behind just a hint of sweetness and adding to the perfect moistness of the cake."

Jamie provided us with her all-American version (cinnamon, chopped pecans and chopped chocolate) and Ria's version incorporated Indian flavors (saffron added to the sweet yeast bread dough, and garam masala, cashews, and semi-sweet chocolate chips in the filling). We were free to try one of their versions, or get creative and create our own personal flavor variation. They suggested we let our own national cuisine inspire us.

My inspiration for our coffee cake came from the amazingly decadent Apple Pie Caramel Apples at Fuzziwigs Candy Factory in Coronado. A crunchy, juicy, sweet apple, dipped in gooey caramel, dipped in melted white chocolate, and then rolled in cinnamon sugar, best cut with one of those apple corer/slicer doohickeys, and eaten by the slice.

With a squeeze bottle of John's Bourbon Street Madness caramel sauce still in the refrigerator, the filling for our Saturday morning coffee cake was a no-brainer: Apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, white chocolate, and bourbon-caramel sauce. I didn't shape mine into a wreath - too much like the Stollen we made at Christmas-time.

Bourbon Street Madness Caramel Apple Filled Meringue Coffee Cake
Adapted from Filled Meringue Coffee Cake
Makes one coffee cake and serves 8


For the yeast coffee cake dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 package active dried yeast (3.5 grams)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg at room temperature

For the meringue:

2 large egg whites at room temperature
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
1/4 cup sugar

For the filling:

2 large apples (peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup caramel sauce

Egg wash: 1 beaten egg

Extra caramel sauce and/or powdered sugar for serving.


Prepare the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.

In a saucepan, combine the milk 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 1/2 cup flour and beat for 2 more minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in about 1/2 cup of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface (using the remaining 1/4 cup of flour) 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 oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 – 60 minutes.

Prepare your filling: 

Place the chopped apples in medium bowl, add the lemon juice and stir to coat the apples with juice. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar, and sprinkle over the apples. Toss together to incorporate.

Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue:

In the clean mixing bowl of your electric mixer, 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 little bit at at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.

Assemble the Coffee Cake:

Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Punch down the dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch rectangle. Spread the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch from the edges. Distribute the apple mixture and chopped white chocolate evenly over the meringue.  Squeeze caramel sauce all over (that's John's hairy arm).

Roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side. Pinch the ends closed to seal. Very carefully transfer the filled log to the lined cookie sheet, seam side down.

Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife (although scissors are easier), make cuts along both outside edges of the roll, at about 2-inch intervals. Make the cuts about 1-inch deep.

Cover the coffee cake with plastic wrap and allow it to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Brush the top of the coffee cake 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.

Transfer baking sheet to cooling rack and allow to cool.

Serve warm, or at room temperature, with extra caramel sauce and/or powdered sugar.

For the complete challenge recipes, please visit The Daring Kitchen Recipe Archive, and take a browse-through the Daring Bakers' Blogroll to see what some of the other members created this month. There are some fabulous savory versions also.

Thank you, Ria and Jamie! Although I procrastinated until the last minute and almost skipped this one, we were rewarded with a lovely Saturday morning coffee cake.


Anonymous said...

I love apples and caramel together as a filling. And your photo of the oozing caramel is just heavenly!

Audax said...

Bourbon Street Madness Caramel Apple Meringue Cake that really is m.a.d.n.e.s.s. what a delectable flavour profile superb effort. I hope the 'unwelcome drama' wasn't too much of a hassle for you both. Lovely photography as always.

The new move sounds so so so exciting.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

lo81 said...

A delicious filling for your cake! Great job!

shelley c. said...

That looks and sounds SPECTACULAR. That filling - apples? caramel? white chocolate? Holy moly, sounds so amazing. I wish I could have a piece for breakfast right now... And awesome about your impending move! I am glad someone understands why "nice kitchen with good natural light" is on my house wish list! :) You did a great, great job.

Rachel said...

Truly decadent.

GourmAndrea said...

That looks Soooo delicious, wicked combination!

Rochelle said...

That is ooey gooey beauty there with the apples and caramel! I would love to try this version!

SF Annetta said...

Dooley has got the right idea about the yard... but I suspect he is secretly eying the breakfast nook for those warm, cozy, sunny naps.

As usual your creativity in the kitchen makes me drool, and I am not even a Newfie!

Creating Amazing Meals said...

Wow, Denise! This looks fantastic! I made Raspberry Almond and Pina Colada - I loved this recipe.

Lisa Mary said...

Mmm - i want some of yours! Lovely flavour combo. Great job. Good luck with the move!

INMA said...

Luscious!!!!, wonderful filling recipe.

INMA said...

Luscious!!!, wonderful filling recipe.

Ashlae said...

OH. MY. GOODNESS. This looks delicious!!!!!!!! I have never seen more mouth-watering challenges as I have this month. Great job!

Jamie said...

I don't know where the start: the delicious filling (I made apple but next time I'll squeeze some salted caramel sauce over it too! Yum!), the gorgeous shape or the perfect coffee cake texture? Everything about your coffee cake is perfection and inspiring me to do it all again!

Bourbonnatrix said...

i'm bookmarking your filling idea! that sounds awesome!

Alpineberry Mary said...

The caramel apple combination is so perfect. Hope your move goes well.

Lizzy said...

Caramel, apple AND white chocolate? You win! What a fabulous filling...and a beautiful coffee cake!

Lisa said...

Denise, your coffee cake is one of the first ones I noticed after I posted my completed challenge because not only is it gorgeous, but it's full of my favorite flavors. The photo of the caramel being drizzled all over the meringue, apples and white chocolate nearly made me faint!! I'm DEFIBITELY making it your ways, and I'm DEFINITELY trying that Oyster Bacon sammie!! :)

Ruth H. said...

Yum, yum, yum!! Please make this again, and please allow me to come have a taste of it! (I will bring some goodies along too...!) I love your inspiration, and I am so glad you shared this with us! I have been waiting for this post since you first hinted at it in the forum!!

Sheena said...

Your new house sounds lovely, and this cake? Perfect. I love the apple/caramel combination and your photos are gorgeous!

Deeba PAB said...

I just love this madness...must have been absolutely delicious! Great great pairing!

Jess said...

Oh nummy! This looks delicious! That looks absolutely amazing!!

Carolyn Jung said...

This looks amazing! Coffee cake is often so heavy and leaden. But this actually looks fluffy and airy. ;)


i am such a sucker when it comes to these kinds of pastries - any fruit filling and i just about can't stop! LOVE this - caramel?? oh my.

Renata said...

You got me drooling over here... Amazing flavor combinations, absolutely tempting! Amazing photos, as always!

Lea said...

It looks beautiful and delicious, love the filling!

Lakelady said...

Just joined your group and found this wonderful recipe. Can't wait to try it. I love Newfs, so I couldn't resist joining!

Anonymous said...

Looks great, I've marked this as a recipe to try one day. Could you do me a favour and tell me more about the yeast amount. Around the world the packages of yeast are different so just so I get the right amount I'd like to know :) Thanks from Australia

Denise said...

KissandRunBlog - The packages here are 7 grams, so I used 3.5 grams in the recipe.