Sunday, February 17, 2013

pink grapefruit olive oil cake

Are you good at detail? Or do you prefer to look at the big picture? I am the latter. As a result, when I bake I don't sweat the particulars, like how many teaspoons of what, and often miss ingredients entirely. This leaves me with a lot of failures. Simplicity works best for me.

I was thinking about how Deb from Smitten Kitchen uses not just the zest and juice of a lemon for her lemon bars, but the whole thing, processed in her food processor. How great is that? No zesting, no peeling, just cut out the seeds and you're done.

Two things thwarted my plan. One was my local on-the-way-home-from-work grocery store did not have blood oranges nor Meyer lemons. The second was that I lacked the nerve to use my whole grapefruit, thrown into the processor. There were just too many variables already to bring that into the mix {so to speak}. I opted not to make the toppings suggested by Deb but I would have been wise to follow her lead. The bits of pulp are a really nice addition to this cake. It is very moist, but not very sweet, which is okay (I did use grapefruit instead of oranges}, but it definitely could use a sweet topping.

This is what I did:

Pink Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Olive oil for greasing pan
1 large pink grapefruit
Zest of one mandarin {or any small orange variety}
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup soy milk
3 large eggs
2/3 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 8-by-8-inch baking pan. Grate zest from grapefruit and mandarin and place in a bowl with sugar. Using your fingers, rub ingredients together until zest is evenly distributed in sugar.

2. Separate the peel and membrane from the sections of the grapefruit: Cut off bottom and top so fruit is exposed and grapefruit can stand upright on a cutting board. Cut away peel and pith, following curve of fruit with your knife. Cut grapefruit segments out of their connective membranes and let them fall into a bowl. Break up segments with your fingers to about 1/4-inch pieces.

3. Pour soy milk into bowl with sugar-zest and combine. Mix in eggs and olive oil.
In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir dry ingredients into wet ones. Fold in pieces of grapefruit segments. Pour batter into prepared pan.

4. Bake cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a rack in the pan for 5 minutes, then take out of the pan and cool to room temperature right-side up.

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