Hello everybody! It’s been awhile, yes. For that, I’m sorry. I can tell you I’ve been busy… blah, blah, blah. But mostly I’ve just been lazy. I was also out of the country for about 9 days earlier this month. Took my annual birthday trip (too bad I only have one birthday a year), this time to Italy. Had a nice, though exhausting, time. Much to my dismay, I didn’t get to sample nearly enough Italian food. But I’m back now and kicking things off with this month’s challenge from the Daring Kitchen: yeasted meringue coffee cake.
I really hadn’t worked with yeast much before last December. I think it always kind of creeped me out that yeast is a living organism. But in December, I made Stollen (you might remember that baking challenge that I loved so much I made twice) and tried my hand at Belgian waffles. I’ve realized that yeast is not so scary. Gelatin, on the other hand, still disturbs me. Ick!
The yeasted meringue coffee cake wasn’t that far different from stollen. The yeast didn’t get proofed ahead of time though, it was done in the mixing and kneading processes. And may I just say that I love Kitchen Aid. Manual kneading is soooo last year. The biggest thing about working with yeast is allowing plenty of time. It has to rise, then be manipulated into whatever form you’re baking it in, then rise again. This coffee cake was shaped just like the stollen last December so the process was simple enough. Just spread on a layer of meringue before rolling it up into a wreath to give it a certain moistness.
For my two coffee cake wreaths, I filled one with chocolate chips and walnuts and the other with apples and cinnamon. They were both good, but I’m partial to the chocolate chip variety. Chocolate just makes everything better!
Oh, and I do remember that I promised to share my January Daring Baker’s Challenge, but again… lazy! It was an entremet, which I had never heard of. Basically, I made a sponge cake that had a design in it, then used a springform pan to shape it and fill it. My filling was just more cake. I thought it might be good to turn the project into a boston cream pie. It was a good idea, but I didn’t make enough cream and didn’t want to make more because I already had enough time invested in it. Overall, the challenge was pretty interesting, but probably not one I’ll do again. If I want designs in my cake, I’ll get out some icing and my pastry tips. That’s also less likely to set off the smoke alarms. Oops!
The next few weeks will be more of my forte. Cookies! For bands! Will be seeing Ari Hest next weekend and Matt Wertz shortly after that. I shall try to start posting here again. I know I’ve been a bad blogger, but I can change! Until next time… (which won’t be a couple of months, I promise!).