Brioche Coffee Cake with Cheese Filling, Fruit, and Streusel

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Complex

  • Yield:

    2

    brioche coffee cakes, 9 to 10 inches in diameter

Appears in

Bread

By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

I Had Great Success for years selling these coffee cakes at my bakery in southern Vermont. I used apricot halves or tart cherries for the fruit. Thinly sliced peaches or plums are delicious; the plums dye the cheese filling a subtle soft hue, a treat for the eye when the coffee cake is sliced.

Ingredients

Dough

U.S. Metric Home
Brioche Dough 2 lb 908 g

Cheese Filling

Cream Cheese 2.8 oz 79 g cup
Ricotta Cheese 1.1 oz 31 g 2 T
Sugar 1.3 oz 37 g T
Eggs 2 oz 58 g 1 large
Vanilla .1 oz 3 g tsp
Unsalted Butter, Melted .6 oz 17 g 1 T
Flour, Sifted .3 oz 9 g 1 T

Streusel Topping

Unsalted Butter, Cold 4 oz 112 g ½ cup
Sugar 4 oz 112 g 8 T
Bread Flour 8 oz 224 g cups

Method

  1. To Make the Cheese Filling: In a planetary or stand mixer, use the paddle attachment and beat the cream cheese and ricotta just until they are smooth. Add the sugar and mix until smooth, followed by the eggs and vanilla, then the melted butter and finally the sifted flour, until all are incorporated. The filling can also be mixed by hand using a long handled plastic spatula. The filling can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 3 days; it can also be frozen for a month or more.
  2. To Make the Streusel Topping: Use the paddle attachment and mix the butter and sugar together on second speed. Once they are evenly blended, add the flour and mix on first speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until all the flour is incorporated and the streusel has a crumbly texture. The streusel can be made up to 1 week in advance; it can also be frozen for months if well wrapped.
  3. Preparing the Fruit: Prepare the fruits no more than a couple of hours before final assembly of the coffee cake. Slice the selected fruit. Juicy fruits like fresh ripe peaches may need to be patted with a towel to absorb some of their juice, otherwise the extra moisture might prevent the dough from baking fully. If using cherries, pit them and leave them whole or cut them in half. Apricots can be thinly sliced or halved as desired. Plums should be thinly sliced.
  4. Preparing the Brioche Bases: Divide the dough into 2 pieces weighing 1 pound (454 g) each. Roll out the cold brioche dough on a lightly floured surface so that it is round and evenly thick. Roll it about ½ inch larger than the diameter of the mold so that if it shrinks, the dough will still touch the mold all around. Use a spring form pan without the bottom or an entremet mold, 9 or 10 inches in diameter and at least inches high. A cake pan can also be used; in this case butter a piece of parchment paper and place it in the bottom so the baked dough will release easily from the pan. Proof the brioche for about 1¼ hours at 80°F, until light and risen.
  5. Finishing the Coffee Cakes: Spread about 3.5 ounces (100 g) of the cheese filling in a thin, even layer on top of the brioche base. Arrange the fruit on top of the cheese filling. Spread about 8 ounces (225 g) of the streusel on top of each cake. If the texture is too fine, squeeze it in your hand to give it a rockier texture. Bake the coffee cakes in a 380°F oven for approximately 28 minutes. The center of the cake must not be moist at the end of the bake. Shake the pan gently to ensure that the cheese filling has set. Cool the cake, remove it from the ring, and sift confectioners’ sugar over the top before slicing. Note: I’ve written this formula with a yield of 2 coffee cakes, only because weighing the filling for just 1 would be rather difficult, due to the small weights of some of the ingredients. If you choose to make just 1 coffee cake, an easy solution is to make the cheese filling for 2 and freeze half of it for later use.