Wednesday, March 31, 2010

grapefruit yogurt cake

I usually bring a bottle of wine or flowers when I go to someone's house for a meal. But our epic Alinea dinner at Casey and Dan's house also involved a sleepover, so I thought I should step things up a bit.

Knowing that I could not show up with, like, chips and dip for this sort of meal, I decided to make something for breakfast the next morning. After making such a labor-intensive dinner, Casey would probably be too tired to brew a pot of coffee. That's how I would feel, anyway.

Knowing her love of citrus, I decided to make a grapefruit yogurt cake. Most people don't use grapefruits for much other than plain old eating or juicing, maybe the occasional granita. But grapefruit has a bright, perfumey flavor that's more interesting than lemons, and as I found out, translates well into baked goods.

The original recipe, by Ina Garten, is basically a lighter take on a pound cake, with oil and yogurt instead of butter. And a generous amount of grapefruit zest and a grapefruit syrup that you pour over the cake, so that it seeps in and makes the whole thing even moister and grapefruity-er.

We ate thin slices of the cake on Casey and Dan's sun-drenched deck as we groggily leafed through the morning paper. It was the first day of spring and it actually felt like it outside. The cake was moist and tender and as bright as the day itself. A nice breakfast. I mentally patted myself on the back for thinking of it.

And then Casey brought out a plate of warm, homemade cinnamon-sugar donuts and left me speechless once again. How does she do it?

Grapefruit yogurt cake
Adapted from an Ina Garten recipe via Smitten Kitchen. The original recipe calls for a glaze, but it seemed unnecessary, so I skipped that step.
(Makes 1 pound cake-sized loaf)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
3 eggs
3 tsp. grated grapefruit zest (I used pink grapefruit)
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, grapefruit zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup grapefruit juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

So this cake didn't need any butter?
Would you make it again using a different
citrus fruit? How about lemon?

Lisa said...

Anony: Yes, no butter. Just oil, eggs and yogurt. You could definitely do this with lemons, oranges, or any other type of citrus.

Tender Branson said...

Grapefruit yogurt cake for Jennifer and an orange or lemon one for me. This recipe serves every purpose imaginable. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This might be just the Easter dessert we take to dinner on Sunday! And the banana bread you baked is almost gone; thanks again. Loved the soup. Everything was delicious.

Casey@Good. Food. Stories. said...

This cake was muuuuuch better than the donuts (which were baked as part of an experimental recipe I had pinned on the fridge for way too long).

Thank you, dear Lisa, for playing into my love for all citrus and giving me this delicious cake. Not a speck went to waste.

Daniel said...

Grapefruit cake, homemade donuts...why play favorites when you can just stuff your face with both?

Nikkilooch said...

I second Daniel.

Lisa said...

Tender Branson: I like your way of compromising. :)

Anony: I hope you enjoy! To make it more of a dessert, you might want to make a little icing with confectioner's sugar and a little grapefruit or lemon juice to drizzle on top.

Casey: I thought the donuts were really good! Especially for being baked, not fried.

Daniel: Always the voice of reason.

Terri said...

I used a recipe using coconut flour to mimic this being gluten free. I am also trying it with oat flour. It's cooling and smells good, but when it said to mix wet ingredients, I added the 1/3 cup of grapefruit juice, I hope it taste good. Will post again.

Terri said...

I used a recipe using coconut flour to mimic this being gluten free. I am also trying it with oat flour. It's cooling and smells good, but when it said to mix wet ingredients, I added the 1/3 cup of grapefruit juice, I hope it taste good. Will post again.

Terri said...

I used a recipe using coconut flour to mimic this being gluten free. I am also trying it with oat flour. It's cooling and smells good, but when it said to mix wet ingredients, I added the 1/3 cup of grapefruit juice, I hope it taste good. Will post again.

Lisa said...

Hi Terri! How did it turn out?

Terri said...

The oat flour was incredibly moist and my group raved and wanted the recipe.

The coconut flour was an epic fail. I forgot to use half the portion of flour and eight eggs and tried to fix it once the batter looked weird. After baking when I released it from the pan it fell apart. I would love to try it again.

Lisa said...

Interesting that the oat flour worked? I think coconut might not be enough to stand up to the density of this cake.

Ila said...

Gorgeous!

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