Saturday, August 13, 2011

Coconut Bread


It's lucky for me that I like airports. Because I sure seem to spend a lot of time in them. By the end of my four years at St Andrews, I will predict I'll have quite a comprehensive knowledge of them. CLT has good gelato, and MAN doesn't have luggage carts. LHR has a shop with caviar, pâté, and champagne. You'll be greeted by a bar serving Efes upon landing in SAW.

As much as I enjoy perusing the gift shops, thumbing through magazines, and people watching, there is one thing I'm not particularly fond of- the food. The dining options are a slew of overpriced candy, stale sandwiches, and disintegrating sushi. Not particularly appealing. And don't even get me started on the food they serve on the plane. I'm not even entirely sure you can call it food.


I've taken to signing up for the vegetarian meal. It's usually a little more palatable. There's just something so nauseating about those grey strips of beef or pasty, rubbery chicken breasts. That's why, whenever I'm on the ball, I like to pack my own snacks. If I'm flying out of Charlotte, I'll stop at Dean and Deluca to get a tasty salad and a scone. If I'm leaving from home, I like to pick up some cucumber rolls from Earth Fare or pack up some carrot sticks and hummus. 

Shockingly enough, I like to have a little something sweet with me. Ok, ok, so maybe it's not all that surprising. I'm sitting here at La Guardia wishing I had a slice of this coconut bread. I managed to wrap up a piece on the way here, but I didn't leave enough time to bake something yesterday. This bread is subtle. It is faintly sweet. It's lovely and is perfumed with the warm toasty scent of coconut. It's a little bit dense, but in a good way. And it's unbelievably delicious slathered with soft, sweet butter.


  Coconut Bread
Makes 1 loaf
Adapted from Seven Spoons

2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
Seeds scraped from half a vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups flour, more for dusting pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Soft butter for greasing the pan

Preheat an oven to 350. Grease and flour a 8-by-4-inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk and vanilla seeds. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Stir in sugar and coconut. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and slowly add egg mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in melted butter. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake around 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in its tin for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack.

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