After a week of sunshine, beachside tanning and subsequent sunburns, returning to the cold, DC winter weather is fairly depressing. Baking always elevates my mood and after a steady diet of pina coladas, the flavor combination that sounds most appealing to me is pineapple and coconut. With this bread I can pretend I’m still in Cancun, and not actually in the GW library avoiding my Spanish homework. The only Spanish I want to be speaking involves asking for a cocktail, but I don’t think my Spanish professor would appreciate an essay about margaritas.
Coconut Pineapple Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons milk
2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup toasted coconut (save two tablespoons for garnish)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray or grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the applesauce, sugar and vanilla extract until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the flour and milk. Fold in the pineapple chunks and toasted coconut. Before mixing in the pineapple, however, make sure to coat it with about three tablespoons of flour. This will ensure that the pineapple doesn’t sink to the bottom and stays suspended in the bread.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining two tablespoons of coconut on the top of the batter. Bake in the center of the oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool the bread in the pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack, turn right side up and cool completely.
^^ Check out the steam rising from that baby, fresh from the oven.