Computers can be and are used in many different ways and for both good and bad. It has become a constant part of most people’s lives and sometimes it is extremely necessary.
I was once talking to Fatima (my maid) about that and she told me that her two daughters - one is 15 and the other, 13 – had been asking for a computer. I told her that a computer would be very good for the girls – they could use it for school papers, research... And then she told me that the only thing her daughters wanted to research about was Chris Brown. :)
Like many of you, I use the computer for both work and fun. It has been a great tool for knowing people from all around the world – people who love cooking, baking and sharing recipes with others.
The sweet and talented Dita is one friend I made through Flickr. She has some amazing photos and delicious recipes there and on her blog as well. She recently made the glazed apple lattice coffee cake I posted days ago. And it looked so gorgeous! To make things even more fun, she even prepared a video!
Because Dita made such a beautiful coffee cake, I felt like making another one. I got the recipe here and loved it so much I immediately bought the book. It makes 2 huge loaves, so get people to share them with or halve the recipe.
Danish chocolate-streusel-swirled coffee cake
from Coffee Cakes: Simple, Sweet, and Savory
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup (60ml) warm water, 105 to 115ºF (41 to 46ºC)
pinch of sugar + 6 tablespoons
12 tablespoons (168g) unsalted butter at room temperature
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or ½ teaspoon ground cardamom – I used cardamom
3 large eggs
4 ½ to 5 cups (630 to 700g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (240ml) warm milk, 105 to 115ºF (41 to 46ºC)
2/3 cup (134g) sugar
¼ cup (35g) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (42g) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg white, beaten until foamy
3 tablespoons sliced almonds – I used chopped hazelnuts
Make the dough: in a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Add the pinch of sugar, stir to dissolve, and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat the 6 tablespoons sugar, the butter, salt, and vanilla or cardamom together with a wooden spoon or a heavy-duty electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add 1 cup of the flour and beat until smooth. Add the milk, then gradually add 2 cups of the flour, 1 cup at a time, beating well. Stir in the yeast mixture. Gradually add enough of the 1 ½ to 2 cups remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out on a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Place in a buttered bowl, turn to coat, and cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
Now, the chocolate streusel: in a medium bowl or a food processor, mix the sugar, flour, butter, cocoa, and cinnamon together. Cut the butter in with your fingers or process until crumbly.
Assemble the coffee cake: punch down the dough and turn it out on a lightly floured board and knead lightly until smooth, 1 or 2 minutes. Cut the dough in half. Roll one half into a 10-by-14-inch (25x35cm) rectangle. Spread evenly with half of the Chocolate Streusel. Roll up and place, seam side down, on a buttered baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, placing the loaf on a separate buttered baking sheet.
With clean scissors, snip each loaf at ¾-inch intervals, cutting three-fourths of the way through the dough:
Starting at one end, pull and twist each cut slice on its side to lie flat on alternate sides – as you can see, I wasn’t very successful here:
Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Brush the loaves with the egg white and sprinkle with the nuts. Place in the oven, reduce the heat to 325ºF (160ºC), and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the loaves to wire racks to cool completely. Cut into ¾-inch-thick slices to serve. Or, wrap and freeze for up to 2 months.
Makes 2 very large loaves