For the past three years, my friends always got the leftovers, the exhausted remains of me. The friend who feverishly checked her phone, hit refresh on the web page, who feigned being present but never was. I could tell they were frustrated, but I couldn’t help myself — I unknowingly gave the best part of myself to the wrong person. And wouldn’t you know, as soon as I said goodbye to all that, I passed hours with old friends, phone tucked away in my bag. One brave, sweet friend sighed extravagantly when she said: THANK GOD YOU’RE BACK. WE’VE MISSED YOU.
Granted, I’ve still more faces to see, lives to catch up on, but in the interim I baked this luscious cake for a colleague’s birthday, and I hope she savors every. single. bite.
INGREDIENTS: Recipe adapted from Nobile Pig’s delicious recipe, with modifications
For the bread
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cane sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg, room temperature
1 cup + 1 tbsp light coconut milk
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 very ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup Nutella (or any chocolate spread), lightly melted
For the glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp coconut milk
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 5 x 2.75 (correct size is important) baking pan with butter + flour, or coconut spray will suffice. In a small skillet melt the butter and set aside to cool.
Mix the sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl beat egg with a fork and stir in melted butter and coconut milk. Combine well. Pour egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir just enough to combine. Fold in coconut and smashed banana.
Spread a third of the batter into the bottom of the loaf pan. Add half of the melted Nutella, covering the batter as best you can without mixing the two together. Add another 1/3 of the batter and cover the mixture completely. Finish with the other half of the Nutella and then more batter to top it off.
Use a table knife and stick it down, all the way through the batter at one end of the loaf pan. Work your way from one side of the pan to the other in a zigzag motion.
Bake 55-65 minutes, until done, ensuring that you turn the bread halfway through the baking process. As my oven is hot, unpredictable and cruel, I start checking at the 45 minute mark. Press on bread and if it feels springy to the touch it is likely finished baking. Let cool 20 minutes in pan before flipping over to a rack to cool completely.
For the glaze, add confectioners sugar to a medium sized bowl and add the milk. Mix until it is a thick, pourable glaze. Pour over bread and sprinkle with coconut. When glaze is dry, slice into 12 pieces.