I love Valentine's Day. I love all of the chocolaty, heart-shaped, pink, red, sparkly treats that come along with the holiday. This year, the Valentine spirit inspired these red velvet coffee cakes with chocolate ganache topped with cream cheese frosting.
My husband loves red velvet, and I love coffee cake. So I thought, what a perfect marriage, a dessert that we'd both love.
I was hesitant to make a yeasted pastry because I was worried about the dough rising since it's been so gosh darn cold around here. Even with the heat on in the house, I had my doubts about the yeast maintaining a warm enough temperature to rise properly. That was until I made a life-changing discovery: I have a "proof" setting on my oven. I have no idea how that minor detail slipped my attention over the past two years that we've been living in our current home. I figure, better late than never, and I popped my beautiful red velvet dough into the oven to rise.
These red velvet coffee cakes with chocolate ganache topped with cream cheese frosting turned out perfectly. The soft layers of red velvet dough have the perfect hint of chocolate, while the filling provides a rich, decadent burst of chocolate. These are a new Valentine's Day breakfast tradition in our home. I hope it will be for you and your family as well!
Red Velvet Coffee Cakes with Chocolate Ganache Topped with Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients for the Red Velvet Coffee Cakes
1/4 ounce active dry yeast (one envelope)
1/4 cup warm water 110 to 115 degrees F
1 cup warm milk 110 to 115 degrees F
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (divided)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
2 tbs cocoa
2 tsp red food color (I used AmeriColor food gel, 1 1/2 tsp Tulip Red and 1/2 tsp Burgundy)
Ingredients for the Ganache Filling
6 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate with 70% cocoa)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
Instructions for the Ganache
Warm the cream until simmering. Pour over the chopped chocolate. Allow the mixture to stand for a minute or two. Then mix until the chocolate is melted, and a shiny, smooth mixture forms. Allow the ganache to sit at room temperature until ready to use.
Instructions for the Cake Dough
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the milk, 1/2 cup butter, eggs, sugar, salt, and 2 cups of the flour. Add enough flour for a soft dough to form.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and turn once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Pre-heat the oven for 350 degrees F.
Punch the dough down. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into an 8-inch by 10-inch rectangle. Spread the chocolate ganache in a thin layer over the dough, leaving a 1/4 inch border.
Roll the dough up, jelly-role style, starting with the long side. Place the role, seem side down, and fold the role in half. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut the dough down the middle. Then shape into a heart.
Repeat the process until all 8 pieces of dough are formed in to hearts. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Instructions for the Frosting
Cream the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until just combined. Add the milk and mix until it is light and fluffy.
Once the cakes are cooled completely, ice the cakes.
Yields 8 Cakes
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