For the sake of alliteration, I should have called this Coconut & Cardamon Cake. It was also something of a conundrum, so I could even have called it Coconut & Cardamon Conundrum Cake.
See, in all honesty, this bread started out as a cake. It was going to be a round cake covered in some kind of frosting. However, the day I made it I was somewhat over-tired and the thought of frosting a large cake was just too much. So I decided to halve the mixture, put it in a loaf tin, slap some Glace icing on the top and call it a day. At this point it was also still called a cake.
But when it came to tasting it, I wasn’t sure it was a cake. It had a savoury taste from the cardamon and there is also some coffee in there too. And it isn’t overly sweet, like cake can be. I just didn’t know quite what to make of it.
I had always planned for the icing to be coffee flavoured, so I set about making it and spreading it on top, to see if that would help me decide.
Well, it tasted good, but I was still undecided. I walked away from it, thinking it was something impossible to label.
Then, overnight, I had a thought – what about spreading butter on it and adding a slice of cheese. Would that work?
So the next morning, I cut a slice, removed the coffee icing, buttered and added the cheese.
I ate one piece whilst waiting for the kettle to boil and another waiting for the tea to brew. Just to make sure. Because this combination works too. And, the bread tastes better the next day once the flavours have been given time to mellow and get to know each other properly.
So, you see why it is a conundrum of a cake? I mean, bread. As my Dad said, “it is a cake for all seasons”. You can go either savoury or sweet with it.
If you go savoury I wouldn’t recommend adding the coffee icing. Unless you like that kind of thing, because, what do I know. The combination of coconut, cardamon and cheese already sounds a little strange, but apparently cheese and chocolate together is a thing now, so anything can work if you keep an open mind!
I would suggest making the bread the day before you want it. Wrap it in cling-film and keep it in an airtight container until needed. The icing (if you decide to go that way) is also better made an hour or two before eating. Make it, spread it, leave it (for a while). Otherwise you will be able to taste the powdered sugar.
If kept in an airtight container, this bread will last for four days or so.
Do with it what you wish!
Coconut & Cardamon Bread
- 1/4 cup gram (chickpea / garbanzo) flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/4 cup sweet (glutinous) rice flour
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground green cardamon
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 30ml honey
- 30ml unrefined coconut oil, melted & slightly cooled
- 1 tbsp instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water, cooled.
For the icing (if using):
- 115g powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water, cooled.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 160 fan / 350 Fahrenheit. Line a 1lb loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.
- Sift the gram flour and coconut flour into a large bowl (I find it better to sift them, as both these flours can develop lumps that are difficult to get rid of with a spatula).
- Add the buckwheat flour, ground almonds, rice flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt and cardamon and mix together.
- In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, applesauce, almond milk, honey, coconut oil and coffee.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 – 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the icing – place the powdered sugar in a bowl and add the dissolved coffee mixture a little at a time until you get a thick paste, the consistency of toothpaste. Spread onto the top of the cooled bread.