My mother-in- law makes a mean Coconut sweet bread that rivals that of St Mary's Bakery. In fact, when I first tasted her sweet bread I thought someone bought it, and probably St Mary's Bakery in Curepe had a new baker for its sweet bread.
Man, it was that good; so good that I had to get her recipe. But more on that later, because I just have to talk about my grandmother's love affair with coconut.
A Love Affair with All Things Coconut
My grandmother loved coconut. It was as if she waited for us to visit so she could make those wonderfully sweet delectable desserts and snacks. So, she often made tooloom, sugar cake, coconut ice cream, sucker bag (coconut flavour of course), coconut drops and coconut sweet bread.
Those were our "sweet snacks", totally different from all those shop sweets and shop cakes nowadays. Everything we snacked on then was homemade. We could have counted the ingredients, used for the sweets, on our hands. Of all the snacks, I really liked coconut sweet bread, especially with a nice glass of pineapple juice.
My Favourite Coconut Sweet Bread
I like my sweetbread with lots of candied fruits, but not too much to compromise the coconut taste. Any other way, I find it hard to call it sweetbread. So maybe I should call this recipe fruity coconut sweet bread lol!
There is no doubt that this sweetbread is very flavorful. First you have the candied fruits followed by the raisins, then to top it all off you have the coconut and coconut milk to give it it's signature taste.
So if you want to make this really good and wholesome coconut sweet bread you can't cut any corners when making it. You must follow the recipe to the letter, or you would compromise the very taste.
This is not one for experimentation - that was done already by my mother-in-law and many other mothers and grandmothers who have passed down all our time honoured Trini recipes for generations. Here's Coconut Sweet Bread.
A Coconut Sweet Bread Recipe
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 small coconut
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
½ cup of each: raisins, cherries, and mixed fruit.
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. Angostura bitters
1 tsp. mixed essence
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 cup of coconut milk
Note: the 1 cup of coconut milk will be strained after you blend the coconut meat in 1 cup of water.
Mix in the nutmeg and cinnamon.
or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
If you want to add a glaze to the sweet bread. All you have to do is, mix a little bit of water and sugar and brush onto the bread. Return the loaf to the oven and allow to bake for another 5 minutes.
Well that was coconut sweet bread .....Now I'll leave you all to get out your baking tins; start to grate your coconut or even send somebody to buy one in the shop; While they're at it they could get the fruits for you one time lol Oh and don't forget to take out your shortening to grease the tin too.
Coconut Sweet Bread
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 small coconut
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup butter unsalted
- ½ cup of each: raisins cherries, and mixed fruit
- 1 egg
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. Angostura bitters
- 1 tsp. mixed essence
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- Note: the 1 cup of coconut milk will be strained after you blend the coconut meat in 1 cup of water.
- Finely grate the coconut in a blender with 1 cup of water. Strain the coconut from the water. Set the water aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the grated coconut, sugar and egg. Cut in the butter. Mix well. Add the Angostura bitters and mixed essence.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder. Mix in the nutmeg and cinnamon. Blend together the coconut mixture, coconut water, and flour mixture. Blend to make a soft dough.
- Add the mixed fruit, raisins, and cherries to the dough. Mix well. Pour in greased dish and bake for 350 degrees F. for about 52 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.