Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Ruby grapefruit tea cake

This cake is so good I made it twice in the space of a few hours. Never mind that this was because I forgot the baking powder the first time round and the cake came out of the tin beautifully golden but frisbee flat. My point is, I saw the error, weighed it up, and decided it was hardly any trouble to do it all again*. About an hour later, I had a perfectly risen cake, cooled, iced and ready to go. There were so few ingredients, I didn't even consult the recipe the second time, just made a mental note not to make the same mistake twice. This is a sweet, simple citrus cake made more sophisticated by its star ingredient: ruby grapefruit. Its juice and zest give a gorgeous warmth to the colour and a satisfyingly sour tang to the otherwise sweet crumb of the cake. A couple of days later, I packed some leftover slices for a weekend walk through bushland hugging the harbour. Surrounded by green, with blue skies, bluer water, and ruby grapefruit cake eaten outdoors with a view of it all, Sydney winter's sometimes not too bad.

* Lest you wonder what I did with the first cake, which still tasted great despite its density - I broke it up into big pieces and stashed it in the freezer. I couldn't bear to throw it out and figure I can use it to make trifle sometime. Buried under curd and cream, no-one's to know I forgot the baking powder.

Ruby grapefruit tea cake
Adapted from a recipe by SBS Food

You could easily use pink grapefruit or regular grapefruit in place of ruby if need be.

125g butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (165g) caster (superfine) sugar
2 eggs

zest of 1 ruby grapefruit
1 ½ cups (225g) self-raising flour (or plain flour with three teaspoons baking powder)
¾ cup (180ml) ruby grapefruit juice

2 cups (320g) pure icing sugar, sifted
¼ cup (60ml) grapefruit juice, warmed
1 teaspoon butter, melted
grapefruit zest, to decorate

Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease and line a 20cm ring tin.  

Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add grapefruit zest. Fold through flour and grapefruit juice alternately, beginning and ending with flour.  

Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. 

Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  

To make icing, mix together all ingredients until smooth. Pour over cake. Top with grapefruit zest to serve.

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