Yeasted Chocolate Coffee Cake

This week I learned that gentleman-like manners are rooted deep inside our little gentlemen, and should be encouraged not just for our (mothers’) unselfish reasons, but for the child’s benefits as well.   

Our 3 year old son has been going to the swimming pool since he was 6 months old and a few months ago started diving all by himself.  I thought the timing was good to start serious lessons.  We signed him up at this Limousine of swimming schools in SF, called La Petit Baleen, where little kids – just like my baby – learn how to work their fins off swimming, jumping, and diving.   

Naturally, as soon as I left Lil’ Jem with his group, the wailing started.  Separation anxiety. Fun!  Here I am, hiding in the dressing room, biting my nails, while my baby is screaming his lungs out (suddenly in English); and all the moms shooting “understanding” (yet somehow torturous) glances my way!  Oh, the joys of parenthood!

This continued for 2 more classes when one of the deck managers made a few suggestions on possible ways to resolve the situation. In a week (after a few practice runs with babushka), Lil’ Jem was proudly presenting a flower to his teacher.  Guess what? It totally worked!  I haven’t heard a peep from him since!  Ohm… 

Now, I wonder where the little gentleman disappears when it comes to sharing toys with his little sister!?

Obviously I thought the little swimmer deserved a treat.

Both of my guys are obsessed with dark chocolate.  Lately I started feeling that our pots and pans were becoming endangered as Endangered Species were taking over the kitchen.  I saw this recipe and AMAZING photos at Relishing it a while ago, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how this loveliness could use up some of our chocolate stashes. My bread didn’t turn out half as beautiful as Laurie’s, but it was absolutely crazy delicious!!!

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YEASTED CHOCOLATE COFFEE CAKE

INGREDIENTS:

BREAD

  • ¼ oz active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup warm milk (110⁰F/43⁰C)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 8 tbs butter, melted and slightly cooled

EGG WASH

  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tbs milk

FILLING:

  • 8 oz bitter chocolate (2 bars)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tbs ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp salt

TOPPING:

  • ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

DIRECTIONS:

Make the bread.In a medium bowl mix the yeast and a pinch of sugar with the milk and let stand for about 5 minutes, or until foamy.  In another bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar and the egg.  Whisk into the yeast mixture.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough-hook attachment, combine the flour and kosher salt.  Add the egg mixture and mix on low speed until almost fully combined, add the butter.  Mix until smooth, soft, and slightly sticky, about 9-10 minutes.  Grease a large bowl.  Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.  Place in the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, for about 1 – 1.5 hours.

Make the filling.  In the food processor with large blade attachment grind chocolate and butter.  Add salt, cinnamon, and sugar to the mixture.

“Once the dough has doubled in size, place it on a flour work surface.  Let rest for 5 minutes and then roll it out into an 18-inch square.  Sprinkle all but ½ cup of the filling over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border.  Brush the edges with the egg wash.  Tightly roll the dough from one end to the other.  Pinch the seams to seal.  Fold in half and form a “U” shape.  Twist 2 or 3 into a braid.  Make sure to pinch the ends of braid together.  Grease a 5-by-10-inch loaf pan, line with parchment, leaving 1-inch overhangs; then grease the parchment paper.  Place the dough in the pan and brush with egg wash.”

Make the topping. In a small bowl combine the confectioners’ sugar, flour, butter, and the reserved filling.  Sprinkle it over the bread.  It’s ok, if the filling falls down the edges.

Preheat the oven to 350⁰F/175⁰C. Cover the bread with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes.

Please bread pan on a sheet and position it on the center rack in the oven.  Bake for about 55 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 325⁰F/160⁰C, and bake for another 15 minutes till golden brown.

Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack before removing it.

Make ahead: the bread could be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Thank you for sharing the recipe, Laurie!

Coffee Cake

Another workout milestone successfully achieved and celebrated accordingly this weekend! with lots of carbs! obviously…

I craved morning buns.  They are heavenly…  But that dough is a whole different story… It requires so much work! 

This quick fix has a different texture, but all the right ingredients.  Lots of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest.  It’s really reach and moist.  We ate it ourselves, fed it to 4 neighborhood families, and still have half of the cake in the freezer waiting for spontaneous guest invasions.

What’s your favorite dessert that takes too much time to make?

Adopted from Carole Walter’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

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SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE WITH TOASTED WALNUT FILLING

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbs softened unsalted butter

STREUSEL TOPPING:

  • 4 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp table salt

FILLING:

  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 6 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs cinnamon
  • 2 tbs orange zest (about 3 mid oranges)

CAKE:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp table salt
  • 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 2/3 cups superfine sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350⁰ F /175⁰ C (325⁰ F/160⁰ C if using dark nonstick pan).  Generously butter a 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom.

Prepare the topping: melt the butter.  Remove from the heat and cool to tepid.  In a medium bowl mix flour pecans, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to the butter and stir till moist and crumbly.

Prepare the filling: pulse all ingredients of the filling in a food processor till combined.

Make the cake: whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  In a mixer bowl beat the butter with a paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth and creamy 1-2 min.  Slowly add sugar and beat to incorporate.  Through the entire process of mixing scrape the bowl when necessary.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Blend the vanilla. On low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and sour cream, adding the flour in pour parts and the sour cream in three parts.

Layer the cake.  Spoon 2 generous cups of the batter in the prepared pan, smooth it over.  Sprinkle about ½ cup of the filling.  Repeat the layers, ending with batter layer.  Run the knife around the pan two times, without lifting up the blade, spacing the circles about 1 inch apart.  Smooth the top with the back of the soup spoon.

Layer the topping on the cake and lightly pressing it into the batter.

Bake for 70-75 minutes till the wooden stick come out clean.  Let cool for an hour on a wire rack.

Make ahead: This cake keeps for up to 5 days at room temperature under a cake dome or could be frozen for up to 3 months.

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