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French Chocolate Coffee Cake

With a river of chocolate inside and a nutty chocolate-flecked topping, this sumptuous yeast bread is the perfect centerpiece for a special brunch.

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3.5 by 14 people

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  • Makes: 12 servings
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Rise: 2 hr. + 1 hr.
  • Cool: 45 mins

French Chocolate Coffee Cake

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together 1-1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast; set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat and stir the 3/4 cup sugar, the water, the 1/2 cup butter, 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk, and the salt just until warm (120F to 130F) and butter almost melts. 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 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  2. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 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).
  3. Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the remaining evaporated milk, 3/4 cup of the chocolate pieces, the 2 tablespoons sugar, and the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat; cool.
  5. Grease a 10-inch tube pan; set aside. Roll dough into an 18x10-inch rectangle. Spread chocolate mixture to within 1 inch of the edges. Starting from a long edge, roll dough into a spiral. Pinch seam to seal. Place seam side down in prepared pan. Pinch ends together.
  6. In a small bowl, 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).
  7. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake about 50 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. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

From the Test Kitchen

To Bake Ahead:

Prepare and bake as directed; cool completely. Place cooled coffee cake in a resealable freezer bag; seal. Freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw wrapped coffee cake at room temperature.

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