A couple of weeks ago, I had an internet exchange with a friend about coffee cake, this coffee cake. It’s a braided hazelnut coffee cake that my mom used to make when we were kids. When you slice it open, there are layers upon layers of lovely hazelnut-chocolate filling and yummy sweet dough. It looks like magic and tastes better. However, explaining how to make it without pictures was beyond me. So, last weekend, I made one and took a ton of pictures in order to share with you! It’s actually pretty easy to put together once you know the trick and would work equally well with any kind of filling. Ground hazelnuts aren’t easy to come by. During the holidays, they carry ground hazelnuts at the Aldi just over the border in Germany here. I stock up each year and that’s how I manage it. My mom used to buy whole hazelnuts and put them through a grinder when we were kids. You’ll have to see what works best for you. I’ve decreased the sugar over time, so there’s about half the sugar and half the icing I used in the beginning. This works great for us, but you might like it sweeter. Have a look and give it a try!
I use the Ninety Minute Cinnamon Rolls recipe and it works a treat. If I can, I make a double recipe and put half in the freezer for a quick coffee cake later!
Put hazelnuts, sugar, cocoa powder, and egg in a small bowl. Add 2 Tbsp of milk. Stir together. Add milk a little (really, a very little bit) at a time until the mixture becomes a dry paste.
Roll out the dough in a rectangle about 1/4 inch (.5cm thick). Spread the filling in a thin layer on the dough. Spread to the edges except for the long edge farthest from you. Roll the dough starting with the long end and lightly press the farthest edge to the roll to seal.
Turn the entire roll so that the closed seam faces down. Cut the roll in half along its length and open it up. You now have two long half rolls.
Starting in the middle, twist the rolls together. Take one roll and lay it across the other in the middle. Continue from the middle with first one side and then the other. You now have one long twist.
Place the middle of the twist onto one side of the baking sheet. Bring the ends together to form a ring. Twist the ends together to close the ring. They don’t have to be squeezed or pressed, laying them neatly together will work fine.
Turn on your oven now. By the time it’s warm, your coffee cake will be ready to bake. Bake according to the directions, 20 minutes. I usually have to give it an extra 5 minutes or so. Take the coffee cake off the baking sheet to cool.
Put the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add half of the lemon juice and stir. Add juice until it the icing just slowly drips. Using a brush, ice the coffee cake. Be sure to get into as many corners as you can!
When it’s cool, gather around, make your favorite warm drink, and enjoy!
Unfortunately, it may not last long enough to take a picture of the beautiful iced cake…