This Sunday was dedicated to heart attack food. Feeling a little tired and unable to cope with the idea of sewing today – plus not quite enough fabric in the colour I wanted – I instead turned to baking. I had some coconut cream in the fridge that needed using up. And having cut this recipe out of the Sunday Trash years ago, I had been dying to try it out.
My delightful oven decided, once again, to over-brown the top, but in all they were excellent. When taken out of the oven, all the coconut cream and butter was bubbling away between the buns, singing out magically about all the wonderful kinds of artery clogging they would set out to do in your system. You make a yeasty dough, roll it out, slather it first with butter, then sugar, then coconut, roll it up, cut it and set the pinwheels in a bath of coconut cream. I don’t think I could have fit more fat in there if I tried.
If I were to make it again, I’d skip the butter and just brush the dough with coconut cream so that the sugar stuck – something along the lines of what you do when you make simple pinwheel scones. 75g of butter seems quite ridiculous, really.
PALAGI PANI POPO
(a version of Samoan coconut buns by Ray McVinnie, and also a recipe I feel needs to be on the internet, as searches in the past have turned up nothing of its kind…)
2 cups lukewarm water
1tsp active yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups flour
75g butter, softened but not melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup long strand coconut, toasted lightly, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 cup thick coconut cream (I used more as it was leftover and needed using up)
Put water into a large mixing bowl and add yeast and sugar. Do not stir but set aside in a warm place until mixture starts to froth and bubble.
Add the salt and flour and mix until you have a sticky dough. Don’t knead. Cover and place in a warm place a let rise until doubled in bulk.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Punch the dough down and tip it on to a well floured surface. Lightly roll it into a rectangle 40cm x 24cm. Spread the softened butter over the surface of the rolled out dough. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter and coconut evenly over sugar (here I also snuck in a sprinkling of cinnamon). Roll long edge up to make a long sausage. Cut into 8 equal pieces.
Pour half the coconut cream into a roasting pan about 20cm x 27cm. Turn each piece of cut, rolled up dough so that it looks like a pinwheel and place in two rows of four in pan with cut sides facing up and down. Pour remaining cocnut cream over buns and sprinkle with extra coconut.
* This was the first time I have ever eaten something delicious and then said, ‘Hmm, one’s enough…’ Worth noting.