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Daring Bakers: Meringue-Filled Coffee Cake

Sunday, March 27, 2011

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.

This month's Daring Bakers challenge could not have made me happier. I make yeasted breads every week. And I love coffee cakes because of their baked-in toppings/fillings. (Well, it seems this challenge was quite a favourite with the other Daring Bakers as well. Check out their dishes at the Daring Kitchen website.)
The squashed flower *sob* didn't stop anyone from ripping it apart rather quickly (right). 
I tried Jamie's version first and the bread dough was perfectly soft. However, I spread it out a little too thin (I simply stretched out the dough into a rectangle using my hands) and so when I had filled it with meringue, nuts and chocolate chips, it was a little delicate and difficult to manoeuvre into a ring and then onto the baking sheet. The result was that squashed flower you see in the picture on the left (above).

Place the semolina halva log on one long end of the dough, and start rolling up the dough from that side so that the semolina will be in the centre of the spiral
I have to say the Indian half of me was intrigued by Ria's version with the saffron and spices. The ingredients got me thinking about Indian sweets so I decided to incorporate one of them, kaseri or semolina halva, into the filling. I think it worked well with the rest of the ingredients.

The halva can, of course, be eaten on its own. Mix in some chopped cashews and raisins. Another version is to cook the mixture until very thick and then press it into a baking tin or shallow bowl until firm (like polenta). It is served cut into shapes, usually diamonds.

To avoid another flattened flower, I let the dough rise in the fridge overnight. The next day, I left the dough out for about 30 minutes (it was still a little cold) before rolling it out with a rolling pin and filling it. It was easier to handle this way.

There are many recipes for semolina halva, of course. This is how I made it for the filling.

With semolina halva filling
2 tablespoons ghee
½ cup semolina
1½ cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of saffron, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Large pinch of cardamom powder
Pinch of salt
  • Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and fry the semolina until lightly toasted. Add the water and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Keep stirring until mixture thickens and semolina starts to leave the sides of the pan. Stir in the remaining ingredients and remove from heat. Allow to cool before using as the coffee cake filling.


    1. While I am not really a halva fan, this looks intriguing and delicious! You did an awesome job with this challenge. And I'd eat the "squashed" one too - it looks just as tasty! :)

      Great job.

    2. I think your coffee cake looks great! I too had one come out a bit "strange" but it still tasted yummy, as I'm sure yours did. Nice job on the challenge!

    3. Hah! Happened to me too when I first made a ring bread...the ring can no longer be seen after it doubled in size! But doesn't matter as long as the taste is still good eh:D

    4. Wow! Your dough rose so beautifully! Mine came out a bit flat by comparison. I'm suspecting I needed to knead more effectively :)

      Congrats on your successful challenge. Beautiful job.

    5. I love chubby yeasted cakes and breads and your "squashed flower" is very appealing to me! You did a great job on the challenge!


    Your views are welcome and appreciated. Have a nice day!