Chocolate Coffee Cake

016d9107e0c7f03a3024210e58028a1947529c6a4eThis recipe is from Better Homes & Gardens, with my few tweaks and extra tips. It is a rich cake similar in texture to a pannetone, great for an afternoon treat or even a dessert. NOTE: it does take a few hours to do as it’s a yeast cake. It is very tasty, and big enough to share with a neighbour or friend 🙂

4 cups / 1 kg all-purpose flour, divided
2 packages 4-1/2 tbsp /16 g active dry yeast
3/4 cup / 190 g sugar
2/3 cup / 165 mL water
1/2 cup / 125 g butter, cut up
1/3 cup / 75 mL  evaporated milk
1/2 tsp / 2 g salt
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup / 190 g semisweet chocolate pieces
1/3 cup / 75 mL evaporated milk
2 tbsp / 30 g sugar
3/4 tsp / 4 g ground cinnamon
1/4 cup / 125 g all-purpose flour
1/4 cup / 125 g sugar
1 tsp / 5 g ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp / 2 g ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp / 2 g ground cloves
1/4 cup / 125 mL cold butter
1/4 cup / 35 g chocolate chips
1/4 cup /125 g chopped walnuts
1/4 cup /125 g chopped pecans
In a large bowl, assemble the dough: stir together 1-1/2 cups (375 g) of the flour and the yeast; set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat and stir the sugar, the water, the butter pieces, the evaporated milk, and the salt just until warm (120F to 130F) and butter almost melts. (If the mixture gets too hot, it will kill the yeast, so use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature.) Add milk mixture to flour mixture; add egg yolks. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. At low speed, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (another 2 to 4 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 2 hours).
Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, make the filling: combine the remaining evaporated milk, the chocolate pieces, sugar, and cinnamon. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat; cool.
Grease a 10-inch tube pan; set aside. (An angel food pan with a removeable bottom works well. )Roll dough into an 18×10-inch rectangle. Spread chocolate mixture to within 1 inch of the edges. Starting from a long edge, roll dough into a spiral, lifting the edge as you roll so the filling doesn’t squish out the end.
Close the seam by wetting the edge with a bit of water, then pinching it to seal . Place seam side down in prepared pan, with ends overlapping a bit. Pinch ends together.
In a small bowl, mix the topping: combine the 1/4 cup flour, the 1/4 cup sugar, and the 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut in the 1/4 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup chocolate pieces and the nuts. Sprinkle over dough in pan. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 1 hour).
Preheat oven to 350F. Bake about 50-55 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool for 45 minutes. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Makes 12 to 16 servings. This can be served as a dessert with ice cream if desired.

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