Recipe by Lindsay Hunt
Procrastination happens to everyone, but with baking, it’s difficult to quickly accomplish the delayed task. Late last night, I turned my oven on to preheat, while searching for a quick and easy baked good for my column. Usually I plan ahead – I bake something on the weekend to share with friends, or to bring into the office – but due to holiday fervor and general busyness, I was behind.
I flipped through Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra’s book Warm Bread and Honey Cake. I knew she would have intriguing options. I was drawn to a recipe for baklava, but it was nearing midnight and I lacked many ingredients. A rich Mexican Tres Leches cake would have been delightful, but again, not practical. What was an adventurous but tired and time-strapped baker to do?
Then, Caribbean Coconut Tea Bread caught my eye. I had all the ingredients in my pantry, I love coconut, and it appeared easy to put together.
I confess my procrastination because it was my motivation to get something quickly in and out of the oven that led me to this coconut tea bread. I recommend this treat for the many bakers who do not have the time to compile an extravagant dessert. Those who want a delicious, fresh baked good in under an hour will be pleased.
In no less than 10 minutes, my cake was in the oven baking, while I relaxed and read my book while the scent of coconut, butter and sugar wafted through the apartment. 40 minutes later, my cake was cooling on a rack, enticing me to cut in before its intended breakfast destination. Today’s verdict: great with coffee, hard to stop eating, going to make again.
Adapted from Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra’s Warm Bread and Honey Cake
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 1/2 oz finely grated coconut, fresh or frozen or 3 1/4 os/ 1 cup fine shredded (dry, unsweetened,) coconut mixed with 4 tbsp warm water
3 1/2 oz (7 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
Photo: Lindsay Hunt
- If using shredded coconut, mix it with the water and leave to stand until needed. If using frozen coconut, allow it to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease the loaf pan, then dust with flour.
- Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract until thick and lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and mix to combine. Add the coconut and melted butter and mix well.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Don't over bake. Cook on a wire rack.
Serve in slices.