coconut loaf for the first snow

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Okay, so by “first snow” I mean “first real snow,” because we’ve had other, less “real” snowfalls earlier in the year.  But shredded coconut looks a little bit like snow, so this loaf (cake? bread? it’s kind of in between) was totally appropriate.

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I’ve been wanting to try using coconut oil for a while, and this recipe was a good opportunity.  It also calls for coconut milk and shredded coconut, but it somehow manages to have only a subtle coconut flavor, which is perfect.  It’s just coconutty enough (is that a word? who knows), without being too loud about it.

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I was intrigued by this recipe, but wasn’t really sure what to expect from it.  Turns out that it might be one of my new favorite loaves of the sort-of-cake, sort-of-bread variety.  It has a really nice crumb and good additional texture from the shredded coconut in the batter.  The glaze on top might seem unnecessary at first, but it does add a nice bit of sweetness and some moisture (although I didn’t use all of the glaze the recipe made).  It’s really quite an unassuming but sneakily delicious loaf.

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The recipe suggests serving slices toasted, with fresh blackberries alongside.  I can tell already that it will be great toasted, although I haven’t tried that yet.  In the absence of blackberries, I tried spreading some raspberry jam on top, which was nice, although a little overpowering in flavor at times.

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Coconut Loaf (from the Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook)

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted, plus more for the pan

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

3/4 cup turbinado sugar [I used granulated]

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8.5-inch loaf pan with a thin coat of coconut oil.

Spread the shredded coconut on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Set aside 1/2 cup for topping the loaf.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the toasted coconut and the sugar.  Sift in the flours, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir to combine.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs together, then whisk in 1 cup of the coconut milk, the coconut oil, and the vanilla.  Gently stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.  Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.

While the loaf is cooling, combine 1/4 cup of the remaining coconut milk and the powdered sugar [it helps to sift it] and mix until there are no lumps.  Add more sugar or coconut milk to taste, depending on the consistency you prefer.  Pour the glaze over the cooled cake and sprinkle the remaining toasted coconut on top.

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