Something comforting coming out of the oven with that yeasty almond smell. Moist, tender and layered with multiple flavors of almond, apricot, and honey-laced cake this recipe is a winner around here. Coffee cakes can be complicated with a rising time, preparation of different layers and baking. However, with a food processor and a bit of planning, this recipe will be worth the effort when the aroma fills your house and you taste the first bite. This recipe makes enough for two coffee cakes to serve 6-8 people each. Grab a cup of earl grey tea and enjoy one with your family and share the other one with a friend.
2 cups dried apricots
1 tube almond paste (7 ounces)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Process each ingredient, one at a time in the bowl of a food processor until smooth beginning with the dried apricots.Transfer filling to a separate bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until dough is prepared.
4 egg whites (reserved from dough)
2 cups powdered sugar
4 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sliced almonds
In a small bowl whisk the egg whites until frothy and thickened.
In a separate small bowl with a hand mixer mix the cream cheese, butter, cream and almond extract until smooth. Fold in the egg whites. Reserve the sliced almonds to sprinkle on top of cake.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Butter a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
2 3/4 cup milk, warm (110 degrees)
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
4 tablespoons yeast
4 eggs separated (save the egg whites for topping)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
For the dough:
In a large mixing bowl mix the warm milk, butter and honey. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture. Stir gently. Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Let the mixture sit for 3-4 minutes. With a stand or hand mixer slowly combine the flour and salt alternating with the milk mixture until the dough forms. Transfer the dough to a well floured surface and knead the dough with your hands for 1-2 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in the prepared bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes remove the dough and divide in half. Place half of the dough on a floured surface and roll out in a rectangular shape about 1/2-inch thick. Spread half of the refrigerated apricot filling over the dough. Gently roll the dough using both hands into a cylinder shape. Place the dough on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Shape the dough into a ring. With a serrated knife make ten cuts into the dough (but not all the way through) about 1 1/2 inches apart. Drizzle half of the topping over the top. Reserve a small portion (3-4 tablespoons) of topping to drizzle when warm out of the oven. Sprinkle with almonds.
Repeat the process with remaining half of the dough.
Set the coffee cake in a warm place for 20 minutes to rise a bit more. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the cakes in the oven to even browning. Top of cake should be lightly brown. Drizzle reserved topping. Serve warm.