At the onset of the hurricane, I developed a serious craving for cake. I imagine it came about because of the delay in my visit to the Sunshine State. (Sometimes the only way to cure your blues is with a slice of cake.) I contemplated during the very beginning of the snowstorm, venturing out to Bed Bath and Beyond in my completely impractical shoes and non-water resistant coat to buy a set of 6-inch cake pans (something that’s been on my to-buy list for a while). However, making a mini triple layer cake for one during a snowstorm just seemed a little overly indulgent (not that I didn’t contemplate doing so for several hours).
That evening I arrived home from work without cake and proceeded to investigate every cookbook I had in an attempt to find the recipe that would satisfy my craving. Something simple and comforting that wouldn't take 12 bowls and 3 hours to make. Surprise, surprise the answer was found in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook in the form of a grapefruit olive oil pound cake. (Deb Pearlman how do you always know what I want before I even know what I want.) This cake is oh so light. It’s tender and subtle and everything a pound cake (and non-pound cakes!) should be. The grapefruit and olive oil pair beautiful together (I need to eat more salads like this!) and the glaze makes it feel a little indulgent (it’s tart and sweet). I found this best enjoyed with a cup of tea, an oversized throw blanket, a pile of the latest spring fashion magazines, and a blizzard outside your window.
Grapefruit Olive Oil Pound Cake
Recipe from the The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Makes one 9x5 loaf
For the cake
1 ½ cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons freshly grated grapefruit zest (from 1-2 large grapefruits)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup raw or turbinado sugar (or use more granulated sugar)
½ cup olive oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
For the syrup
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup grapefruit juice
For the glaze
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
Pinch of salt
Heat the over to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine the two sugars and the grapefruit zest. Rub the grapefruit zest with your fingertips. This will help release as much grapefruit essence as possible. Whish in the oil until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk until combined. Scrape down the bowl.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a second bowl. In a liquid measuring cup combine the 2 tablespoons of grapefruit juice with the buttermilk (or yogurt. Add the flour and buttermilk (yogurt) mixtures, alternating between them, to the oil-and-sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.
Spread the batter in the pan and bang the pan on the counter a few times to make sure there are no air bubbles. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean.
For the syrup, combine the 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1/3 cup grapefruit juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
When the cake is finished, let it cool for 10 minutes in its pan before inverting it onto a rack. Poke holes in the cake with a toothpick or fork. Spoon or brush the grapefruit syrup over the cake. Let cool completely.
For the glaze, combine the confectioner’s sugar, grapefruit juice, and pinch of salt in a bowl, whisking until smooth. Pour the glaze over the top of the cooled cake and allow to drizzle decoratively down the sides.