Can I tell you guys about one of my favorite baking ingredients? It's not chocolate, peanut butter or salted caramel, though they're all certainly somewhere in my top 10 as well. No, it's buttermilk, and I am completely obsessed with it lately! Whether it's used in biscuits, pancakes, bread, or cake, I love the slight tanginess it lends. It's thick and rich and adds a lot of flavor without a ton of fat (despite its name, there's no butter in it).
Oh, and possibly my very favorite thing about buttermilk? It has an unusually long shelf life so even if it gets hidden behind things in the fridge and forgotten about for a week (*ahem*), odds are low you'll end up having to throw it away. There's nothing I hate more than wasting food!
Another thing I'm loving right now is coconut, so you can imagine how excited I was when I came upon this coconut-buttermilk pound cake recipe. I wasted no time jumping into my kitchen and pulling out the ingredients to give it a try. I find coconut tends to elicit a strong reaction one way or the other - there's not much middle ground where it is concerned. So out of curiosity, I did an informal poll on my Facebook page yesterday and was pleasantly surprised by how many of you are coconut lovers too!
And for everyone who said they hated it... Well, you can take some comfort in knowing the rest of this week's recipes will be coconut free :)
The coconut and buttermilk are incorporated in both the bread itself and the glaze/topping here so the flavors are really enforced. If you wanted to kick it up even a notch more, I think you could add some coconut extract to the batter as well. As you'd expect from a pound cake, the crumb on this cake is tight and it's slightly dense, but I also thought it was more tender than most pound cakes I've made in the past. I devoured a slice for brunch recently as I plowed through cooking shows on my DVR, and I would be a-ok with more mornings starting off that way around here!
Coconut-Buttermilk Pound Cake
from Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, at room temperature, divided
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread the coconut in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the coconut is golden brown. Don't walk away, it can burn *very* quickly. Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the coconut cool while you prepare the rest of the recipe. Maintain oven temperature.
Spray an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 8 minutes (scrape down the bowl as necessary). Stir in the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low, alternately add the dry ingredients in three additions and 1 cup of the buttermilk in two additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, mix in 1 1/4 cups of the toasted coconut until evenly distributed. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with the spatula to make sure all of the ingredients are well combined.
Transfer the batter to the pan and spread in an even layer (it will almost completely fill the pan). Bake for about 1 hour, or until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 1 hour before turning it out to cool completely.
To make the glaze: Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of buttermilk with the confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl. Stir until smooth - the mixture will be thick. Pour the glaze over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup toasted coconut over the cake.