The dough for this Chocolate Spiced Coffee Cake is based on a recipe from one of my favorite bakers, Beatrice Ojakangas. Her book, "The Great Scandinavian Baking Book" is a classic that is in the James Beard Foundation Hall of Fame. She has given us so many wonderful Scandinavian baking recipes. I would happily make anything she wrote about because her recipes work.
The recipe for the dough is interesting in that it has no egg and receives its initial rise in the refrigerator straight out of the processor.
The use of milk instead of water yields a soft dough that retains moisture better. The addition of the sugar to the milk when proofing the yeast makes it very active.
Having said that, I have to admit I took a few liberties. I added my almond paste for the taste and also its ability to keep the bread soft for days. I also reduced the milk slightly for a firmer dough.
I have a two stage filling of Nutella, cocoa and spices to impart a deep chocolate spice filling and finish it with a chocolate drizzle.
I particularly like this Chocolate Spiced Coffee Cake because it stays moist for days if kept covered. It also freezes well if you wish to prepare it in advance.
Chocolate Spiced Coffee Cake Dough1 ¼ cups milk, divided
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 ¼ cups all purpose flour (455 grams or 16 ounces)
½ cup almond paste (140 grams or 5 ounces)
¼ cup sugar (50 grams or 1 ¾ ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces (114 grams, 4 ounces or 1 stick)
Heat ½ cup milk just until warm. Add the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let the yeast dissolve and the mixture get foamy – about 5 to 10 minutes. It will separate but just stir it together.
Place the flour in a processor bowl. Cut the almond paste into pieces and add to the flour along with the ¼ cup sugar and salt. Process until the almond paste is indistinguishable in the flour.
Place the butter in a circle over the dry ingredients. Pulse the butter until it is coarsely cut in.
Add the liquid and pulse just until the dough comes together.
Place the dough in a container that has been sprayed. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours or up to 3 days. This dough does not rise first at room temperature. It goes straight into the refrigerator from the processor where it will rise.Filling
3 tablespoons cocoa (18 grams or ⅔ ounce)
½ cup brown sugar, packed (100 grams or 3 ⅓ ounces)
1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup Nutella
Sift the cocoa into a bowl. Whisk in the spices. Set aside.
Spray a 10 cup Bundt or Angel Food Pan. Any shape of bundt pan can be used. Set aside.Roll the dough about 28" long by about 10" wide. Turn the dough so the long side is facing you.
Spread the Nutella to within ½ inch of the far long side of the dough.
Spread the spice mixture evenly over the Nutella. Pat into the Nutella.Roll the dough tightly to within a couple of inches of the end. Moisten the end of the dough and bring it up to the top. Pinch the seams together firmly. Roll to the top.
Cut the roll into slices about ¾ to 1 inch wide. Cover the bottom of the pan with the slices. Repeat for 3 layers or until the slices are all used. Flatten slightly.
Cover and let rise for about 2 to 2 ½ hours or until barely doubled.
Shortly before the Chocolate Spiced Coffee Cake is ready, preheat the oven to 350° F.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a thermometer registers 180 degrees. Remove from the oven and cool for about 5 minutes. Release the coffeecake, place it on a rack and let it cool completely.
¾ cup powdered sugar (00 grams or 3 ½ ounces)
3 tablespoons cocoa (18 grams or approximately ⅔ ounce)
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon instant coffee
1 ½ teaspoons light corn syrup
Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa together to remove lumps. Stir together. Combine the water, vanilla and instant coffee together. Stir to dissolve the coffee.
Whisk the sugar/cocoa mixture, the coffee mixture and the corn syrup together until smooth. The glaze should be of drizzle consistency. If it is too loose, add a bit of powdered sugar, if it is too tight, add a bit of water.
Place the rack with the Chocolate Spiced Coffee Cake over a piece of waxed or parchment paper. Drizzle the glaze over the cake. I glaze in one direction, turn the cake 90° and drizzle in the opposite direction.
Let the glaze set up. Cut and serve.
Cover the cake and store at room temperature. It will last for days and stay moist.