1. In the bowl of electric mixer, place the yeast, sugar and flour into the warm water. Let it stand until the yeast proofs (starts bubbling).
2. Add the remaining ingredients, alternating wet and dry. Add salt last. Using the dough hook, mix for a full seven minutes.
3. Mix ingredients for the filling in a large mixing bowl.
4. Separate challah, recite the brachah and cut dough into as many pieces as desired (one quarter of the dough makes the cake in the photo). There is no need to let this dough rise.
5. Roll the dough very thin – the thinner the better – and smear dough with a very thin layer of oil, so that the filling will stick. Cover generously with filling. Roll up to create a long log.
6. Cut the log into evenly sized pieces, about one and a half inches thick.
7. Place the pieces upright around the perimeter of a greased 9-inch foil pan. Once the perimeter has been covered, create another row toward the center and continue until you have only space in the center for one piece. Place two pieces flat on their sides, one on top of the other, to create the center of the design. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
8. Brush with egg wash and bake in a preheated 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
Tips: Roizy said that she sometimes sprinkles Bacardi rum onto the filling before she rolls it up. I tried it, and it was delicious. It created a slightly more sophisticated twist to a good ol’ homemade kokosh cake.
Notes: Although the dough may seem a bit wet at first, once you start working with it, it becomes much easier to handle. Always use more filling than you initially think necessary. The filling will shrink as the cake bakes.