I was watching Martha Show reruns online when I saw this episode where she made a Yeasted Chocolate Coffee Cake with actor Terry Crews. I don't know whether he was acting or he really was excited in making this since according to Martha he likes to bake but he was so good with his excitement and Martha made it look so easy to do. I just knew I have to give it a shot. Weekend came by, I had everything ready have tons of butter in the fridge, kilos of flour and of course I had to check if my yeast are dead or not. Since I started storing them in the freezer, I think that their shelf-life lasted much more which is a blessing since I don't make bread often. Thank you Mr. Brown. Yup I'm one of Alton's fanatics. I missed his show Good Eats...
Anyway back to Martha and this awesome coffee cake. Though personally speaking, it shouldn't be called a coffee cake because it's not a cake. It's a huge hunk of loaf with this delicious, chocolaty filling swirled within. The dough itself is at first it was very sticky but as it gets kneaded it became supple and smooth, though I had to add extra 1 cup or so of the flour. The 3 cups the recipe called for looks off because my dough still looks way too sticky. Trying to be patient, I kneaded it until it's less sticky but still a bit tacky to the touch. At this point, the recipe said to rest it for an hour but I'm way too sleepy for that so I let it rest overnight in the fridge in a well oiled bowl loosely wrap with cling crap to prevent though skinned dough from forming. To make things easy on the day you're going to shape and bake the bread, the filling and the topping can be made days in advance or in this case I made it the night before just like the dough. I thought of not using the cinnamon because I wasn't sure if it would be good with the chocolate but I threw caution to the wind and decided to make this one true to the recipe first and if it didn't work out then I will revise it in the future. In making the filling, instead of mixing everything with a pastry blender as the recipe suggest, armed with a fork, I roughly mix the cinnamon-sugar with the soft butter then I added the roughly chopped chocolate. The crumb topping also got the fork treatment and both are covered in cling wrap and stored in the fridge. I'm off to bed.
The next day, on a bright and sunny Sunday, I woke up early well... technically I was awaken by the blazing hot sun streaming from my bedroom window. Just as well, I took out the dough from the fridge and let it thaw out still in the bowl on a cool and airy counter. While the dough is thawing, you could actually do the filling and crumb topping at this stage, provided that you have a room temperature butter on hand. For me though since I already prep them the night before, I got time to watch reruns on the telly before shaping and baking my bread. The bread dough is well rested so it's easy to roll out and the filling got distributed as evenly as possible so that as you roll the dough into logs or what we call "baston" in Filipino the dough wouldn't be lopsided. When it was rolled out I tried to stretch the dough a little bit more before twisting it because it doesn't fit my pan right, use your own judgement. When it's all twisted and tucked safely in your loaf pan, brush with eggwash and scatter the remaining filling, the crumb topping and cover with cling film and wait for it to rise again. It's one of the things I don't appreciate in bread making the waiting. But trust me this time it would be so worth it. Even at it's raw state the brea looks gorgeous! Halfway through the baking process the house smells cinnamony (is that a word?) So if you don't care for cinnamon don't use it though I'm not sure of it would taste good as this does. Be sure to cover the bread with tin foil halfway through because it has the tendency to get too brown. I got so excited in taking it out of the loaf tin that I almost burned my fingers, lucky me my reflects are fast ☺
It was a huge hit in my family, my mom who doesn't have a sweet tooth grabbed an healthy portion. She usually just eats slivers of what I do. My younger brother who doesn't really like cinnamon, he just tolerates it grabbed a healthy portion as well, before and after dinner. I bet it would be good for breakfast. When there's any leftover left or it has gone stale, I have a huge feeling that it would be excellent converted into French toast, deadly I'm sure but of so worth the extra calories.
Check out Martha's site for the recipe