Do you love zingy, citrus flavoured cakes? Have you ever tried grapefruit in a cake? Use it as you would lemon. In this moist butter cake, yogurt gives it a wonderful texture while grapefruit gives it a gorgeous sherbert quality. Her name? Persephone!
One Friday night Mr NQN and I were at home. We usually go out but for some reason we hadn't scheduled anything. We had eaten dinner (momos) and I was sketching cakes at my desk and Mr NQN was tapping away at his computer doing work on an upcoming project at work. It was for all intents and purposes a purposefully boring but productive night.
Then a message came from Viggo. Would we like some farm fresh rhubarb from Louise's family farm? Now things like this get me very excited and I had been waiting for well priced rhubarb to appear in the shops to make this tart but it hadn't made an appearance yet. Then he added would we like some grapefruit? I'll admit I'm not a big fan of grapefruit. I love lemons but not grapefruit. I think it was because when I was young, the idea of dieting was half a grapefruit and cottage cheese. Yuck. But I knew that Mr NQN the fruit bat would love some.
Viggo furnished us with a massive bundle of rhubarb and a bag of nine enormous grapefruit in varying sizes. Fruit like that makes me so happy. It's kind of like the welcoming feeling I get when I see a varied crowd of people (and conversely the slight fear and dread when I walk into a room and everyone looks the same). Mr NQN kept the bag of grapefruit by his seat the whole time reaching into the bag for one once a day. I snaffled one for this cake but didn't eat any plain. I am a creature of habit as Mr NQN tells me and so is Mochi our dog.
"Walking her is like walking with you, she stops to look at things all the time," he said referencing my sudden need to stop the car and look at an antique store. It's true, she loves food (but only human food - barbecue chicken drives her crazy with desire and I'm naming a dog cookbook for her "Chicken & Cuddles"). She loves sleeping, attention and hates being alone.
Despite her terrible start in life she is sweet, polite but with the occasional bout of naughtiness, usually related to staying up late or food. One night we were in bed and heard her jump up on the couch, something that she never does and when Mr NQN went out to investigate he found a packet of doggy "junk food" in her mouth. "She's JUST like you," he said and I slid under the covers guilty as charged.
My habit is eating chips and cakes. I can't help myself and even with an ingredient like grapefruit which I usually don't gravitate towards this cake is an absolute beauty. The yogurt makes it moist (and I'm sure the acidity of the grapefruit does this too) and the cake has a soft buttery, sherbetty taste to it from the tangy grapefruit. Grapefruit in this cake is just like lemon so if you find yourself with either I urge you to try this cake. It's one of those cakes I didn't have much hope for. And yet it was so much more than I could have hoped for. A bit like Mochi really.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like grapefruit? If so what are your serving suggestions for it? Do you use sour cream or yogurt in cakes to improve the texture?
Grapefruit & Yogurt Cake
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
- 330g/11.67ozs. cake flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 160g/5.65ozs. butter, melted
- 200g/7ozs. caster or superfine sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 100ml/3.5 fl ozs. natural yogurt (or sour cream or buttermilk)
- Zest from 1/2 a grapefruit
- 125ml/4.41ozs. grapefruit juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup icing or confectioners sugar
- 4 tablespoons (or so) grapefruit juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Wilton white white colour (optional)
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 160C/320F and grease and lightly flour a bundt tin. whisk the flour and baking powder together in a jug until combined.
Step 2 - In a large bowl, whisk the butter and sugar for 1 minute. Add eggs and then whisk until it combines well and is syrupy. Add in half the flour and then the yogurt, zest, juice and vanilla and stir to combine, then add the rest of the flour and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in the tin.
Step 3 - Sift the icing sugar and mix with the grapefruit juice and white colour (if using) until it is a thick consistency but still dollopable (I know that sounds weird, you just want it runny enough to drip but not too runny).
Note: lovelies, don't use star jasmine on top of cakes as it is poisonous!