Sometimes it's nice to try something new. I mean, I love me my lemon bars and cakes and cookies, every now and again I read a recipe for something kind of out there and think 'hells yes, this must be made immediately.
And that was exactly the response I had when I read the recipe for grapefruit cake in Ad Hoc at Home. Now, granted, pretty damn near everything in that book sounds delicious– I think I've spent more time drooling over it than the bf has, and it was his Xmas gift from me!– but this one definitely caught my eye. Because, really? Grapefruit? In a cake?
Um, yes. Really. Ooooooh yes really.
To be fair, how can anyone resist the pink grapefruit? Even on a purely aesthetic level– that is one fine-looking piece of fruit up there, and you're not even seeing it in daylight!
Unfortunately, significantly less attractive were my little 'overflow' ramekins (because I seem incapable of finding a loaf pan that's legit 9x5. Now ordered, thankyouverymuch, after much conversion of centimeters and inches and research on amazon.co.uk), which, ironically, overflowed:
Luckily, the main loaf turned out alright:
And any ugliness was soon covered in a deliciously concealing layer of icing! Mmmmmmmmm...
So delicious, I think I ate half the stuff off the board before we even cut the cake.
But when we did cut the cake, oh lord have mercy: stripes of pink grapefruit syrup down the insides!
This cake is, in a word, insane. It's basically a fragrant, moist grapefruit cake, with sticky-sweet grapefruit syrup all up inside it, and ooey gooey grapefruity icing all over the top. In. Sane.
I highly recommend it, and as this was the first recipe we've (I've) made from this gorgeous book, I think it's a great start. Hopefully we'll haul this massive tome out from our stack of cookbooks more often! With a recommendation like this beautiful, unusual cake, I'm fairly certain the effort would be worthwhile.
Pink Grapefruit Cake:
slightly adapted for lazier cooks from Ad Hoc at Home
Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan.
In medium bowl, whisk together:
2 c flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat at medium speed about 3 minutes, until whisk leaves trail through thickened mixture:
1 2/3 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 c whole milk (I used semi-skimmed because it was in the fridge)
3/4 c canola oil (I used sunflower seed oil, because it's what the closest grocery store had)
1 Tbsp grated pink grapefruit zest
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract (I used extract)
Reduce speed to low and add flour mix, mixing just until incorporated. Spread batter into pan, and run a lightly oiled knife lengthwise down the center to help the cake rise evenly. Bake on a small baking sheet for 30 minutes.
While the cake is baking, make the syrup by combining and simmering one minute in a small saucepan:
1 c strained fresh pink grapefruit juice
2/3 c sugar
Set the syrup aside and turn the cake around to bake a further 30 minutes. As soon as the cake is finished (a tester should come out mostly clean, with just a few moist crumbs stuck to it), poke holes all over it with a long skewer and brush the syrup all over it. Keep going until you've used all the syrup. Let the cake cool 10 minutes.
Turn cake out of pan onto a cooling rack and let cool to room temp.
To make the icing, stir together:
3/4 c powdered (or icing) sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp fresh pink grapefruit juice