Following Friday's disaster, my laptop keyboard is more or less working again. Some keys have been poorly reattached, jutting up at awkward angles and crying out for technological orthodontia, but for now, it works.
However I was not so lucky as to have all my keys turn up. I'm still missing my ESC, F3 and CTRL keys. When I ask my two year old what she did with Mommy's ESC key, she tells me she wants chocolate.
While I may not know much about negotiating with toddlers, something tells me this may be a trick...
Anyway, let's get down to the grapefruit cake. It's from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home cookbook. The cake, despite its rather humble appearance, is delicious. Low on fuss but high in flavor, each slice is moist and sticky with bitter-sweet ruby grapefruit syrup.
Feel free to substitute the ruby grapefruit for pink grapefruit, or even lemon (adding some additional sugar to the syrup to compensate for the tartness of lemon juice) to flavor the cake and syrup. Thomas also advises in the book:
"When I've got wonderful strawberries, I omit the citrus entirely and use the cake in place of a shortcake. I also make these in individual loaves and serve them with a simple sauce."I agree, the cakes would be adorable when plated if baked individual tiny loaves. If you're going to bake them I recommend using a mini-individual loaf or financier set with a total capacity of roughly 7 cups.
Thomas Keller's Grapefruit Cake
from Ad Hoc at Home
yields one 10 x 4-inch loaf pan or 4 small loaf pans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon grated ruby grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
1 cup strained fresh ruby grapefruit juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh ruby grapefruit juice
Pre-heat your oven to 350°F. Prep your pans by coating them with a little non-stick spray or lightly oil.
Sift together the flour and baking soda and then whisk in the kosher salt. Set the mixture aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, combine the eggs and sugar on medium speed for three minutes. The mixture should thicken, increase in volume and the whisk will leave a trail in the batter. Once everything looks right, beat in the milk, oil, then the zest and vanilla.
Reduce your mixer's speed to low and then beat in the flour, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until incorporated.
Pour the batter into your pan(s) and place on a baking sheet. Bake a single loaf for an hour (rotating once to ensure even color). Mini loafs will take roughly 40 minutes. Or until a cake tester or wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs clining to it.
While waiting for the cakes to bake, you can prep the grapefruit syrup.
Combine the grapefruit juice and sugar in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer (it can boil over if left over high heat) and cook for 1 minute.
Once you pull your cakes from the oven, poke holes into the cakes with a wooden skewer. Brush your syrup over the cake, allowing it to absorb and then repeating until you've used up all the syrup. Allow the cake to cool in the pan completely before attempting to unmold.
To un-mold, lightly coat a piece of waxed or parchment paper with a little oil or nonstick spray. Cover the cake with the paper and then invert. Turn the cake right-side-up onto a serving dish.
Whisk together the powdered sugar and grapefruit juice to make a glaze. (I doubled the powdered sugar called for to make the glaze more opaque.) Drizzle the glaze diagonally across the cake, allowing it to run down the sides. Slice and serve.
Keep the cake loosely covered at room teprature for up to two days.