I am a fan of complicated, multiple component, and time consuming recipes. Which is weird, because I am not a patient person. I just love that feeling when all those pieces come together to create something amazing, tongue tingling and impressive looking.
On the other hand, there is something that is just so satisfying about making a recipe where you chuck everything in a bowl, mix it up and end up with something that tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen… This recipe for coconut bread is one of those recipes.
Every now and then, recipes that have been ripped out of newspapers mysteriously appear in places where I may happen to stumble upon them. Then when I find them, my Dad says, with a winning smile, “that looks nice, doesn’t it?” Yeah, I can take a hint!
This recipe (originally by Bill Granger) was adapted to gluten free by Floyd’s Café in Island Bay, and after making it a whole bunch of times, I’ve tinkered with it quite a lot. The original newspaper clipping has my notes scribbled all over it, as does my beautifully typed up and printed out version of the recipe. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve made a few more changes, and I’m finally happy enough with the recipe to share it.
I added coconut cream because I just happen to like coconut and increased the amount of butter and added oil for moisture. I like to bake them in mini loaf tins so they cook faster and don’t dry out as much on the edges. It also makes them perfect to keep in the freezer and pull out when you fancy one.
These are best eaten they day they’re made, but the following day they are perfect for toasting. If you want to keep them any longer than that, then pop them in an airtight container or snap-lock bag and put them in the freezer. When you want to eat them, the expert (my Dad) suggests “nuking it in the microwave for 20 seconds, then splitting it in three lengthwise and toasting it.” If you do want to toast it I would recommend leaving out the shredded coconut on the top, or at least knocking some of it off before you toast it. If you’re not a fan of the smell of a smoking toaster, you’ll thank me for that suggestion!
The lime mascarpone is the perfect spread for this bread, sweet and… I want to think of a better word coz I hate this one, but nothing is springing to mind… “zingy”. And as the Kiwi summer is coming to an end, there’s nothing like the smell of coconut and lime to keep you feeling summery.
The batter is quite runny, so you’ll want to either use ice cream scoops (one big scoop and one small scoop gave the perfect amount for my loaf tins) or pour the batter from a jug.
Ice cream scoops keep things easy and tidy, unless you’re a spastic mess-magnet like myself….
The recipe makes a little more batter than will fit in my 8 mini loaf tins, so I put the rest into another mini loaf tin. If you don’t happen to have two of these tins then muffin tins work fine as well. You’ll just need to check them before the loaves are done as the muffins will cook faster. You can also bake the batter in regular sized loaf tins, according to the recipe it will fit two standard sized loaf tins. I haven’t made this as big loaves, so I can’t guarantee that sizing is right.
Sprinkle the batter with shredded coconut, and it will go all nice and toasty brown in the oven. Nothing beats the smell of toasted coconut. Although, the smell of lime zest is pretty up there as well…..
You’ll need some really specialised tools to make the lime mascarpone, haha, no, just a bowl, a citrus zester or fine grater, and a spoon. Super technical!
Fancy the recipe…?
This makes just a bit too much batter for my tray of 8 mini-loaves, so have another tray of loaf tins or a muffin tin ready in case you need it.
If your oven tends to be quite hot from the top, then place a baking sheet on an oven rack above the loaves to prevent them rising into a volcano-shape.
- 450g gluten free flour*
- 1 tsp Xanthan gum
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 100g desiccated coconut
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of ginger (optional)
- 150g caster sugar
- 150g soft brown sugar
- 100g butter
- 50g oil
- 165ml can coconut cream
- 2 eggs
- 125ml milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 20g (1/4 cup) shredded coconut, optional
- 200g mascarpone
- zest of 2 limes
- 1-2 teaspoons icing/confectioner’s sugar
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line two standard loaf tins with baking paper, OR grease one tray of mini loaf tins with oil spray.
In a large bowl sift together the flours, Xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and desiccated coconut. Whisk well to combine. Add the caster sugar and brown sugar and whisk again. If you see any large lumps of brown sugar, press them with the back of a spoon to break them up, or get your hands in there and squeeze them.
In a heatproof jug, melt the butter and leave it to cool slightly. Then whisk in the oil, eggs coconut cream, milk and vanilla extract.
Pour all of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. The batter will be quite runny.
Use ice cream scoops (or put the batter into a jug and pour from that) to fill the loaf tin/s ¾ full. If you have too much batter for your tins, put the excess into muffin pans and cook them alongside, or after, the loaves.
Bake for 18-25 minutes for mini loaves, or 30-40 minutes for large loaves. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days, for longer storage place in an airtight container or bag and keep in the freezer.
To re-heat the loaves after freezing, simply take them out of the freezer, microwave for 20 or so seconds, and then toast until golden.
Stir the mascarpone in a small bowl until smooth. Mix in the lime zest, and sifted icing sugar to taste. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week (or the use-by date on your mascarpone.)
Gluten free flours that I used:
150g tapioca flour
120g brown rice flour
70g white rice flour
40g potato starch