Sunday, January 30, 2011

Finally a Grapefruit cake!

I have been having a dickens of a time finding the perfect grapefruit cake. I made several. The first one was from the Culinary Arts Institute cookbook, circa 1940. It was okay, but not really grapefruity enough and makes an enormous cake - a three 9-inch round layer cake! Yikes! The second recipe I tried was one based on an orange cake recipe, where I substituted grapefruit. It was better, but really it was just a cake with a grapefruit glaze. This second cake made a 9x5 loaf - the perfect size IMHO. The last cake I made was also based on an orange-raisin cake recipe. The recipe is unusual because the whole orange, including the rind, is ground with raisins and added to the batter. It is a really an intense, moist orange cake. And when I substituted grapefruit, Voila! GRAPEFRUIT cake! Really!

I think one problem when cooking with grapefruit, is that grapefruit changes its character when cooked. That was my experience. The grapefruit loses its citrus character and is replaced with a floral one. Some of the bitterness is present, but not enough for one to recognize grapefruit. I think that using the whole grapefruit, including the peel/rind made this last recipe a success. I imagine that there must be loads of flavor in the rind. But I am only guessing here.

Grapefruit Loaf Cake
Based on an Orange Cake recipe from, Make-a-Sweet Cookbook by Barbara Zeitz, 1969.

2 c cake flour [I use Soft as Silk]
1 1/4 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/3 c vegetable shortening
3/4 c milk
1 t vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Grated rind of one pink grapefruit
Juice of half a pink Grapefruit [about a 1/4 c]

1. Prepare 9x5 in loaf pan and preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Dry measure the dry ingredients into your mixing bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.
3. Add the shortening and grated grapefruit rind and cut into the dry ingredients.
4. Add the milk, flavoring and 1 egg. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
5. Add the remaining egg and grapefruit juice and beat an additional 2 minutes on high speed.
6. Bake for 45 minutes.
7. Frost with grapefruit frosting.

Grapefruit Frosting

1/2 t powdered egg whites
1 c powdered sugar
1 T shortening
grapefruit juice
red food die if you like pink.

1. Combine the dry ingredients and shortening into the metal bowl and stir.
2. Cut the shortening into the sugar.
3. Add a teaspoon of grapefruit juice and stir. Add more juice by the teaspoon until the frosting spreadable and beat adding more grapefruit juice until fluffy yet firm enough to spread.

Note: You may want to read my entry on Devils Food Cake from January 9, 2010. It is also a one-bowl method cake.
Ultimate Grapefruit Cake which beats Paula Deens' puny Grapefruit Cake cake
Based on Rainbow Grange Raisin Cake recipe from, Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery, Vol. 4 , 1966.

2 large eggs
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c butter, melted
2 1/2 c All-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg or mace
1/2 c sour milk or buttermilk
1 c golden raisins chopped
1 pink grapefruit, split in half and seeded. Note: You can use regular grapefruit too, but pink is prettier.

1. Take half the grapefruit and cut into 1 inch pieces along with the rind in a bowl. Add the raisins and place in a food processor and grind it up until fairly smooth.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until thick and creamy.
3. While beating, gradually add sugar and melted butter.
4. Stir together dry ingredients.
5. Beat the dry ingredients alternately with the sour milk to the egg mixture.
6. Fold in the grapefruit-raisin mush.
7. Pour into a prepared 9x9x2in pan and bake for 50-55 minutes at 350°F.
8. Optional: After the cake has cooled in its pan. Spread a thin glaze of grapefruit juice, brandy and sugar over top the cake.

The cake is very rich and moist. It really does not need frosting.

PS If you want to make the orange cake, substitute a whole orange for the grapefruit.

Thanks and let me know if you make any of the cakes!