March 27, 2011

DB Mets la main à la pâte (meringue coffecake, done gluten-free)

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. 
For this month's Daring Baker challenge we were given a recipe for a meringue coffee cake.  Ugh--I thought, this will be my first non-mix attempt at a gluten-free yeasted bread and it has to rolled, formed into a ring and filled with meringue!!  Seeing that I really could live the rest of my life without ever having another taste of coffee cake I should have known better and just made a wheat flour version and given it away.  But then that wouldn't be "daring" enough would it?

I began researching gluten-free brioche dough online.  I really wanted to try a coconut flour version but my searches found a very popular gluten-free brioche recipe from Jeff Hertzberg MD and Zoe Francois, of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day fame.  I own that book and loved playing with the recipes in it (all with wheat flour) but I hadn't tried any recipes from their follow up book, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  Apparently there is a gluten-free section that had just the recipe I was looking for and it was available online.

The recipe online is already dairy-free, which was a plus, but I think I was tackling too big of a project to try a full sized coffee cake on my first try.  The dough was sticky and lacking the familiar structure that gluten provides.  I managed to wrangle it into a ring-like blob with the meringue and filling sorta sandwiched inside but there wasn't any need to score the dough because it was splitting apart everywhere!  It browned nicely in the oven but only barely rose and remained quite dense.

In the end I think the chocolate saved this from being a complete disaster.  Yeasty dough and chocolate are hard to resist, even with a pitiful shape and without the flavor of wheat flour.  It was super sweet to me and I'm not sure how I would easily alter the recipe to remedy that.  If I were going to try this again I would make individual cinnamon roll style buns and not try to form a large ring.  I don't really think I like the meringue part and because it adds a lot of sweetness I would probably not use it again.  Chocolate chips in my cinnamon rolls might be a new fad though.

I had a third of the dough left over and fermented it further in the fridge.  After a few days I baked it plain in a mini loaf pan with only a simple egg wash on top.  I thought it was really delicious but Alex thought there was a winy taste, not the sour yeasty flavor he wanted, and he didn't like it.  I should be ashamed to say I threw the half a mini loaf out for the birds so I wouldn't be tempted by it but right now I'm down a little over five pounds and quite happy about it. 

-For my dough, I made the gluten-free brioche found on Wasabimon!. The recipe is from the book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg MD and Zoe Francois.  For my filling, I used Enjoy Life chocolate chips, the meringue and cinnamon sugar but I left out the nuts.  I made the 2 egg sized batch and then used two thirds of the dough for my ring.  For the filling amounts I used only one egg white and scaled down the chocolate and cinnamon sugar to match.
-To see what this cake was supposed to look like and find the original recipe take a look at the Chocolate Meringue Coffee Cake recipe on the blogs of our hosts, Ria's Collection and Life's a Feast.
-When I get over my baking trama, I want to try making this Gluten-free Sourdough Boule for Alex.  
-To see a dairy-free baker who truly enjoyed this month's challenge visit The Crafts of Mommyhood.  She made 5 different flavors!!
-Visit the Daring Kitchen to join up and do some of your own daring baking.  And don't forget to look at the Daring Baker Blogroll for the other delicious baked goods made this month.  I'm betting 90% are way better looking than my blob. 
A slice of my gluten-free chocolate meringue coffee cake