Sunday, March 28, 2010

Coffee coffee coffee cake

(AKA Spring break coffee cake)

The dough is adapted from Kris Holechek's Braided Holiday Bread from the amazing book 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes. (Buy her book! It's freakin' awesome! And since I don't like to go around telling you recipes that are the intellectual property of somebody else, I shall not print that recipe here. That would be mean!)
If you don't have her lovely book, you could also use a regular enriched-white-bread type recipe, or your mom's favorite cookbook's yeasty coffee cake recipe, and here's how to veganize it: Substitute 1 tbsp flax meal + 2 tbsp warm water for each egg, and use margarine + soy/almond/rice milk instead of milk + butter. (I love substitutions! Hoorah.)

The filling is yum yum yum, and here's how you make it:
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp brewed coffee
3/4 cup pitted prunes (I know right? But I was out of raisins and we had these and I tasted one and it didn't kill me and it was actually pretty tasty, and trying new things is good!)
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp ground cloves
a little flour for dusting

Coat the prunes with a little flour to make them easier to chop. That was my mom's idea, and boy is she smart! Chop up the prunes. Combine all the ingredients and let them sit while the dough is rising so that all the flavors can really meld and the prunes (BTW, you could also use currants or raisins or even dates) get nice and juicy.

Once your dough is finished rising, roll it out on a floured surface into a rectangle about 14x20 inches or something like that.

Spread the filling on the dough, leaving plenty of room around the edges without filling. Then roll the whole thing up lengthwise (like a jelly roll or a magic carpet) and seal it together with water and lots of patient pinching. Gently pull the edges around into a ring shape--if this is difficult, let the whole thing rest for a minute and try again. Pinch the edges together, using water again to seal it. If it's really thin on one end and fat on the other, you can gently scootch it around until the shape is more even.
Flip it into a 10" round baking pan (a springform pan is probably easiest) with the sealed side down. Let it rise for about 20-25 minutes, covered, in the baking pan.
When it's ready to go in the oven, cut some nice little slits in the top of the ring, and bake it at 375 for 15 minutes, and then about an hour more, until the it sounds hollow when you tap it.

You can ice it with a mixture of powdered sugar and soy/almond/rice/etc. milk, if you want. (I want! I want!)

Let it cool and serve it with coffee, duh.

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