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
- 2 eggs
- 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
1. 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.
2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease the loaf pan, then dust with flour.
3. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt and set aside.
4. 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.
5. 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.