Sweet breads– those simple sweet treats that come together in just about ten minutes, are taking the place of dessert for me. I place them in the same category as pudding, meaning that they satisfy that longing for something sweet, yet are not overly rich, and with quick breads you can use ingredients that are good for you, like whole wheat flour, and additives such as fruits and nuts. This recipe takes tart little cranberries to new heights by pairing them with coconut – and chocolate chips, too. (Another flavor combination I’m stuck on.) They do a nice job of off-setting the tartness of the cranberries.
So where does the OOPS come in? It’s coming, read on….
I love cranberries, and I think most of us associate them with Thanksgiving, and the Christmas holidays; but cranberries are good any time of year. The problem is that the growing season is pretty short, so what I like to do is grab a few extra bags when they’re available and stash them in the freezer for use at a later time. Some recipes are so routine/ordinary that I don’t want to use one of my precious bags of cranberries to make them, so I’m quite selective about what I will use a bag for. This recipe is definitely “bag-worthy”. I also feel that if a recipe is “bag-worthy”, then it must certainly be “blog-worthy”, so I’m sharing it with you.
Still waiting for OOPS? Hang in there!
There is not a whole lot of liquid in this recipe; only what is offered by the butter and 3 eggs, so the resulting batter is quite thick–a lot like cookie dough. I needed to put it into the pan in small amounts, making sure to tap out any air pockets. The pan was almost full. Edit note added after baking: The recipe does not direct you to chop the cranberries, so I used them whole, and mine were frozen. I baked the bread for the full 70 minutes and a toothpick inserted into three places all came out clean. When the bread was taken from the oven, it was a light golden brown with bright spots of cranberries, looking so pretty. Within a few minutes the center of the bread began to sink, developing that tell-tale sign of being undercooked. I was so disappointed. (and mad!)
The flavor is wonderful, (please do add the almond flavoring, its what makes this bread so good )and we really liked the parts of it that we could salvage.** I am not giving up on this bread. Next time I will use cranberries that are not frozen, and perhaps I’ll chop them up before adding to the batter. No, on second thought, I like the whole cranberry, so I’ll try cooking it longer. I think they were probably the cause of the problem. I hope my experience will not deter you from trying this bread, but instead alert you to possible problems that you could solve in advance.
CRANBERRY AND COCONUT BREAD
Yield: 1 9×5 inch loaf
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened at room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract, optional, but good
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 1/2 cups cranberries, (12-oz. bag)
- 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Lightly grease and flour a 9″ x 5 ” loaf pan.
2. Place eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until mixture is pale yellow, and doubles in volume, about 5-6 minutes.
3. Add in butter, vanilla and almond extract (if using), until incorporated; about 2 minutes. Then using using a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the flour salt, and baking powder. Do not over mix. Next fold in the cranberries, coconut and chips. Batter will be thick. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
4. Bake for 60 – 70 minutes. Start checking at 60 minutes. Bread is done when cake tester or toothpick removed from the center shows only moist crumbs. ( should not be wet and doughy)
** I took all the under cooked section of the loaf, put it into a smaller loaf pan, and rebaked it. Not quite the same with a second baking, but at least it became dry and firm, so we could eat it anyway.
Note to self: If at first you don’t succeed, try gain. I am going to get this right because it’s so worth it.
SOURCE: Baker’s Royale