OK so I completely failed at conquering the yeast monster. We will have to settle for baking powder for now but that's absolutely dandy because this bread is....... incredible. I don't even think I can find the words to explain to you how delicious this loaf is. My entire house was filled with the scent of cinnamon and roasted coconut. The crust was just cracked on top like every good loaf should be and the raspberries gave me that feeling you get when you find a coin in your Christmas pudding (minus the metallic taste mind you), they are little juicy surprises hidden beneath a snow drift of shredded coconut. Heaven.
Bill Granger, one of my favorite Australian chefs, serves a variation on this coconut bread (without raspberries) in his cafe called bill's (yes that lowercase b is intentional) in Sydney's Woollahra. Whenever I go there, which isn't often, as the queue for a table is longer than the queue at the Ivy on a Saturday night, I always manage to squeeze in the coconut bread, no matter what else we have ordered. It's so wonderfully moist you will wonder why you have settled for plain old banana bread all this time. I'm never going back!
Raspberry Studded Coconut Bread:
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2.5 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup caster sugar
150g shredded coconut
75g unsalted butter (melted)
1 hand full of raspberries (frozen or fresh)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. (Fan forced) Lightly whisk eggs, milk and vanilla together. Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a larger bowl, add sugar and coconut and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and gradually stir in the egg mixture until just combined. Add in the raspberries and gently stir through until evenly distributed. Add melted butter and stir until the mixture is just smooth, being careful not to over-mix. Pour into a greased 21 x 10cm loaf tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until bread is cooked when tested with a skewer. Leave in the tin to cool for five minutes, remove to cool further on a wire rack. Serve in thick slices, toasted and buttered.