Bianca sort of fizzled out so while I waited for the squally winds that never came, I baked to pass the time. I sorted through some old Gourmet magazines and came across one from years back, "The Island Issue" and marveled at how many recipes I had made out of it. That was during my tropical phase when I wanted to eat nothing but Jamaican food.
One recipe in particular caught my eye for a simple loaf of Coconut Bread. I baked it and changed it so much that it hardly resembles the original but I suspect I might have improved it. The same coconut base exists but I substituted all the regular flour with whole wheat. I infused the batter with ground cardamom, fragrant grapefruit zest, and a dash of rum extract. The original recipe calls for water but I thought plain yogurt would add some needed moisture. It came out beautifully, subtly sweet, and although I ate it plain I'm sure some butter and marmalade would be a superb addition.
For one loaf:
- 4 cups sweetened flaked coconut, divided
- 2 cups whole wheat self-raising flour
- 1¼ teaspoons ground cardamom
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon finely grated grapefruit zest
- 1 teaspoon rum extract
In a large bowl, stir together the ground toasted coconut, the remaining cup of untoasted coconut, the flour, and the cardamom.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then beat in the yogurt, zest and rum extract. Add in the coconut mixture and mix until just combined.
Grease a standard loaf pan. Spoon the batter into the pan and spread the top evenly with a spatula. Place in the center of the oven and bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then turn out of the pan and let cool completely.