Monday, January 29, 2018

Grapefruit Buttermilk Cake

This past year I have had major grapefruit cravings, even eating them the way I eat oranges, peeling segment by segment. But I don't tend to think of grapefruit in baked goods, as it isn't really very sweet. So I was intrigued by the idea of this cake and knew I would need to make it. For the cookbook it comes from, scroll down to the bottom of this post. One co-worker called this cake a "keeper," and I thought it was delicious.

Grapefruit Buttermilk Cake
(Recipe from Wintersweet)

1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp finely grated grapefruit zest
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Butter a 9 1/2 x 5 1/2 inch loaf pan. Tear out a sheet of parchment paper. Fold it in half or thirds so that it can lie inside the whole width of the pan, ends hanging over the long sides of the pan. This paper hammock makes it easier to lift the cake out of the pan later.

FOR THE CAKE, mix the sugar with the grapefruit zest in a small bowl. Rub the mixture together with your fingers so the zest releases its oils.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar mixture until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add the vanilla and mix again.

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Add one third of the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and mix on low speed just until combined. Alternate adding the buttermilk and the rest of the dry ingredients in halves to the sugar mixture, mixing until just combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl in between. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake the cake for 55-60 minutes, or until the top is golden and puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes.

FOR THE SYRUP, combine the grapefruit juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil the syrup for 1 minute and then remove it from the heat. With a toothpick or skewer, poke holes all over the top of the cooled cake. Pour the syrup over the cake, a little t a time, brushing it with a pastry brush to ensure even soaking. When all of the syrup has been added, let the cake cool completely. To remove the cake from the pan, lift up by the edges of the parchment paper.

FOR THE GLAZE, whisk together the grapefruit juice with the confectioners' sugar until smooth. You want the consistency to be loose enough to drizzle, but not so thin that it soaks into the cake. If it's too thin, add more sugar! If it's too thick, whisk in some water a few drops at a time. Drizzle the icing over the top of the cake with a whisk. The cake can be stored at room temperature, covered, for 2-3 days.

Notes from JennyBakes:
1. No need to limit the grapefruit zest to 1 tsp. I just used what I could easily get from the outside of one fruit. Also no need to rub the sugar and zest in another bowl, why not the mixing bowl, so you don't make another bowl dirty.
2. I found one grapefruit sufficient for all grapefruit parts required.
3. I added vanilla to the glaze as well.

This recipe comes from Wintersweet: Seasonal Recipes to Warm the Home by Tammy Donroe Inman, published in 2013. I believe I got this as a review copy from the publisher back then. I made two recipes from the cookbook at the time, one I loved and have made several times (cocoa pomegranate pavlova!). It's funny because I think of myself as "using this cookbook all the time," when in reality I just find myself drawn to it to flip through because of the gorgeous photography. It also relies on winter ingredients for baked goods, which is not only friendly for this time of year, but often even what you may normally have on hand in the pantry. I also have my eyes on the Spicy Mexican Chocolate Cake (which is gluten-free) and the Spicy Prune Cake with Penuche Frosting, which I may make tomorrow, since I bought prunes. Some of the seasonality of these recipes has already passed by, because cranberries have disappeared from the store post-holiday. I'll have to make a mental note that I never made that cranberry cobbler recipe....

As far as #theunreadshelfproject2018 goes, I am still glad to spend a week with this one, because it is clear it has untapped riches. But this is a keeper of a cookbook.

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