Rich Coffee Cake with Sweet Cheese Filling

Published November 1, 1998.

Why this recipe works:

Because the coffee cake recipe we envisioned was to be light yet rich, with a brioche-type texture, we knew that it would need a relatively high proportion of eggs (we settled on four). We were after richness without heaviness, and this was produced by 1 cup of butter. The richness of the… read more

Because the coffee cake recipe we envisioned was to be light yet rich, with a brioche-type texture, we knew that it would need a relatively high proportion of eggs (we settled on four). We were after richness without heaviness, and this was produced by 1 cup of butter. The richness of the dough also demanded a lot of beating: The eggs had to be well incorporated, the butter evenly combined, and a great deal of gluten released to provide structure and strength. Two rising times, the first at room temperature and the second in the refrigerator, turned out to be important for both texture and flavor in our rich coffee cake recipe.

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Makes 2 small cakes, each serving 8 to 10

The finished cakes made from this dough freeze beautifully, so we like to make the full amount of dough, bake two smaller cakes, and freeze one for later. You can use the full quantity of dough to make one large cake if you prefer (increase the baking time to 35 to 40 minutes if you go this route), or the recipe can be halved, as it must be if you opt to mix the dough in a food processor rather than a standing mixer. Between rising, shaping, and proofing, preparing these cakes is time-consuming, though not at all labor-intensive. An early morning start will let you make, rise, shape, proof, and bake the dough all in one day. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the shaped, proofed loaf overnight and bake it the next morning for breakfast. Use the Lattice Top or Twisted Coil shapes for this cake.

Ingredients

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