This is the second time I have made this coffee cake. The original recipe is from Donna Deane of the Los Angeles Times in 2005. I got mine from the reprint in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Not what I would call an easy recipe. This is definitely for those wanting a challenge. Most of the challenge comes from timing the different steps. It is a yeast dough that has to rise, which I always have a problem with, and this time was no exception. My things just do not appear to rise. But I just went with it and popped the cake into the oven the way it was and it turned out fine.
My version used toasted pecans and 70% cacao dark bittersweet chocolate from Ghirardelli ( I chopped up a 4oz. bar and used the whole thing). I remember the first time I made this I used hazelnuts and chocolate. I like the pecans better. I did not use the rum glaze on top this time. I think it looked beautiful just the way it was.
Anyway, we had a family brunch this morning with out of town relatives. On the menu were nova lox, kippered salmon, bagels, rye bread, and all the necessary food items that go with these. I thought the coffee cake would be a perfect dessert. It was. Everyone liked it.
If you are looking for a challenge and need an impressive coffee cake, try this one. It is well worth it.
Overnight Coffee Cake by Donna Deane from the Los Angeles Times
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes plus overnight rising time, plus 1 hour, 15 minutes same-day rising time
Servings: 20 (8 to 10 per coffeecake)
1 cup milk, divided
2 ( 1/4 ounce each) envelopes dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, cut up
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten, plus 1 egg yolk, divided
3 egg whites
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon cinnamon, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped toasted hazelnuts, divided
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon dark rum
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1. In a small saucepan, heat three-fourths cup milk to scalding. Remove from the heat and let cool to warm.
2. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and stir until the yeast is completely dissolved.
3. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, one-fourth cup sugar and the salt. Work the butter in by hand or with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
4. Combine 3 lightly beaten egg yolks, the warm milk and the yeast mixture. Add to the flour mixture and beat at medium speed until completely blended and a soft dough forms, about one minute.
5. Divide the dough into two parts and shape each into a ball. Put each into a lightly buttered bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; let it stand 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
7. While the dough is standing, beat the egg whites until light and foamy. Gradually beat in the remaining 1 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Beat in 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon. Fold in 1 cup of the chopped toasted hazelnuts.
8. Take one of the dough balls, shape it into an oval and, on a lightly floured board, roll it out to form a 10- by 18-inch rectangle.
9. Spread half of the meringue mixture onto the rolled-out dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Roll up the dough lengthwise jellyroll style. Pinch the ends of the roll to seal.
10. Gently lift the roll onto a greased large baking sheet, seam side down, and form it into a horseshoe shape. Cut slashes halfway through dough at 2-inch intervals.
11. Repeat the process with the remaining half of the dough.
12. Invert a large bowl over each of the coffeecakes. Set aside to rise about 45 minutes or until doubled.
13. Lightly beat 1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons milk. Brush each of the coffeecakes with egg wash, brushing the entire surface of the dough, but do not brush the meringue filling that shows.
14. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown, turning the baking sheet halfway through. Cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before glazing.
15. For the glaze, stir together the powdered sugar, the remaining 2 tablespoons milk, the rum, if using, and the vanilla. Drizzle it over the coffeecakes. Sprinkle the cakes with the remaining one-half cup of chopped nuts.
Each of 20 servings: 332 calories; 6 grams protein; 45 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 17 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 62 mg. cholesterol; 134 mg. sodium.
Orange: Follow the master recipe, stirring 2 teaspoons grated orange peel into the filling. Replace 1 cup of the hazelnuts with toasted slivered almonds. For the glaze, substitute 2 tablespoons orange juice for the milk and stir in 1 teaspoon grated orange peel. After glazing, warm the coffeecakes and sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped candied orange peel over the top of each. Omit the nuts on top.
Pecan: Follow the master recipe, replacing hazelnuts with toasted pecans in the filling. For the glaze, heat one-fourth cup butter over low heat until nut-brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Combine three-fourths cup powdered sugar, one-fourth cup firmly packed light brown sugar, the browned butter, 2 tablespoons milk, 2 tablespoons maple syrup and one-fourth teaspoon vanilla. Drizzle the glaze over warm coffeecakes, warming it in the microwave if necessary to maintain drizzling consistency. Sprinkle with one-fourth cup toasted pecan pieces.
Chocolate: Follow the master recipe, stirring one-fourth cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate into the filling along with chopped hazelnuts. Omit cinnamon. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts and one-fourth cup chopped chocolate over the warm glazed coffeecakes.