For those of us who do not understand French, “Mets la Main à la Pâte” apparently translates as Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake (I think), though Google Translate came up with “Put my hands dirty!” which didn’t sound very promising.
This month’s Daring Bakers challenge hosts, Jamie and Ria, are both very good friends and I know Jamie knows her French so I’ll trust her translation.
Jamie** found this recipe on a piece of yellowed paper in her dad’s collection of clipped out and hand-written recipes from the 1970’s, no source, no date, and when she tried the recipe she fell in love with it.
Our hosts describe the the Mets la Main à la Pâte as a gorgeous brioche-like dough is rolled jellyroll style around a whipped meringue and whatever filling you choose, shaped into a wreath and baked. The coffee cake is light, fluffy, barely sweet, while the meringue melts into the dough as it bakes leaving behind just a hint of sweetness and adding to the perfect moistness of the cake.
The mandatory part of the challenge meant making the sweet yeast dough for the coffee cake and the meringue, but we were free to experiment with the fillings in the coffee cake.
Things have been hectic this month for me and the last thing I wanted was an adventure in baking so I really didn’t deviate much from the give recipe for a change. I just halved the recipe, and added some chai masala to my meringue for a spicy note to my coffee cake. For my filling, I used broken roasted cashewnuts, cranberries and semi-sweet chocolate chips.
I read the recipe in a bit of a hurry it seems, as I got the size of the rolled out dough wrong. Maths wasn’t one of strong points in school, but I cannot believe that I managed to get even simple arithmetic wrong! What this meant was that my rolled up dough wasn’t long enough for me to shape into a wreath, so I tucked the ends of my roll neatly and baked it as a log.
So it wasn’t a success on an aesthetic level, added to shich I seemed to be singularly stumped for styling ideas when it came to taking pictures of it! Let me assure you that the proof is definitely in the eating, and in that area it proved an unqualified success.
**Yeasted And Filled Meringue Coffee Cake.
(Adapted from Daring Baker Challenge, March 2011)