There are still a whole bunch of delicious recipes I have to share with you from my pre-move days, but I wanted to tell you about this one first. A simple, homey and uncomplicated cake, this marbled coconut bread is the first thing I have baked in my newly adopted kitchen, a place that is, well...not without restrictions.
Let's talk about what I don't have:
- a microwave
- an actual oven
- ingredients with English labels (guess!)
- a cooling rack
- anything but foil pans
What I do have:
- a toaster oven with one rack
- flour that needs sifting to be free of bugs
- vanilla that flew 5700 miles to be with me
- an incredible apron
- an indomitable spirit
Now that we've settled that, let's talk about the cake. Because obviously "bread" is just a euphemism. I absolutely love coconut - so much so that I buy hair products just because they smell like coconut, and when required to create our own bread in pastry school I immediately tossed some coconut in to the mix.
This cake is everything it promises to be: fragrant, delicately flavored, not too sweet, with just a hint of chocolatey taste. It seems an ideal cake for breakfast, or alongside a cup of coffee, if you're in to that sort of thing.
Special thanks to Doda Matbea for photography props, including the sacrifice of a formerly matching bowl to my special brand of clumsiness.
Tip of the Day: If you find yourself without a microwave like I do, there are of course many ways to melt ingredients like butter and chocolate. The classic way is over a double boiler, or bain marie, which is a glass or metal bowl placed over a just-simmering pan of water. An alternative is to melt the ingredients on low heat in a small dish or pan in the oven.
Recipe: (adapted barely from Baking Bites)
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk or soy milk
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded coconut
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
Mix together the butter and sugar until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until incorporated, then add the vanilla and mix.
Add in the milk and stir to combine.
Add the flour, baking powder, salt and coconut, and stir until just mixed. Remove a cup of the batter and set aside.
Pour half of the remaining batter in to a greased, 9x5" loaf pan (mine was about 4x12" and it worked fine).
Mix the cup of batter with the melted chocolate, and add 3/4 of it to the pan, then top with the remaining plain batter, then the rest of the chocolate mix. Using a knife, gently swirl the doughs together to create a marble pattern.
Bake on 350 F for about an hour, or until tests done.