It's Tu B'Shevat this week and that means overloading on dried fruit in celebration of the New Year of the trees. I have way too many unpleasant memories involving dried fruit- practically choking on unchewable dried apple rings, remembering to check a dried apricot at the last minute only to find a big crawling worm inside, and too many Pesach holidays ingesting prunes for, well you know what for. What is my favorite dried fruit on Tu' B'shevat? Coconut! You can't go wrong with coconut. You can use it for sweet or savory, it gives everything that tropical exotic flair and it tastes amazing. So, in honor of the upcoming holiday I present you with this Toasted Coconut Pound Cake a.k.a a slice of buttery, moist,bursting with coconut heaven. And not just plain old coconut, but toasted coconut, lovingly heated over a gentle flame to extract the deepest coconut flavor. You are definitely going to want to try this one. Enjoy!
3/4 cup of butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp good quality coconut extract (optional)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk mixed with 1 TBl white vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes)
1 3/4 cup coconut, toasted, divided
For the Glaze-
3 Tbl buttermilk
1 1/4 cup sifted Confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/2 cup reserved toasted coconut
Preheat the oven to 350.
To toast the coconut, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and add the coconut stirring frequently until the coconut becomes light brown. It can burn easily so keep an eye on it.
In a mixer cream the butter and sugar together and then add the vanilla and coconut extract and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well. In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add half the flour mixture into the mixture, mix, then half the buttermilk, mix then the rest of the flour, mix, and then the rest of the buttermilk. Fold in 1 1/4 cups of the coconut reserving 1/2 cup for the icing.
Spread the mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just moist crumbs. Remove from oven and let cool.
Whisk together the buttermilk, confectioner's sugar, and coconut extract. Pour over the cake and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.