It has been an unusal winter here. There was no settling into the depths of January, with its perpetually frosty temperatures and bone-aching winds. Instead, the weeks have felt like a pastiche of seasons. Some days are warm enough for a light jacket; others require my heaviest garb; I’ve regularly seen people running in shorts. And it was only two weeks ago that my snow boots became necessary.
The day the blizzard descended coincided with a grad student get-together. In the end, only a handful of us showed up. But, oh, it was worth it. There was a crackling fire, marshmallows to toast over it, an assortment of potluck dishes, copious amounts of wine, and my version of Smitten Kitchen’s coconut bread.
My cooking notes:
- I don’t care for the sharp flavor of white sugar by itself, so I did half brown sugar, half white.
- Instead of 1 1/2 cups of shredded coconut, I did a scant cup because I didn’t have enough. I didn’t miss the extra coconut, and the lower quantity ensured that this was a pleasantly hearty bread (it wasn’t overpoweringly sweet).
- I also swapped in coconut milk for the milk, partly to make up for the lower quantity of shredded coconut. I thought it added a lovely mellowness to the bread’s flavor.
I cut thick slices of this and brought it to the table on a cutting board. You should have seen it disappear! People loved it.
I loved it.
It was so good that when I had a gathering at my place the following weekend, I made it again.
The second time around:
- I used the same quantities/proportions of sugar and coconut described above.
- But this time I did half wheat, half white flour.
- I also did half milk, half cream for the liquid, since both needed to be used.
The results were, once again, a hit (and I was asked for the recipe a second time!)
Having tried both, though, I have to admit that preferred the coconut milk version. The second version turned out much more crumbly than the first. It wasn’t too dry, but it was verging on it. I suspect swapping in the wheat flour was what did it. Any suggestions for how I could amp up the moisture without overdoing things?
Much love from snowy Connecticut (with more winter on the way tomorrow!),