The Great Grapefruit Challenge

By Claudia Sánchez Mahedy | January 28, 2013
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Almond macarons with grapefruit filling
Almond macarons with grapefruit filling

Today, like most any other day, I hopped in my car to pick the children up from school. Today, like most other days, I sat cringing in my car waiting for the inevitable play date request.

“Mom,” in that you-can’t-say-no-to-me-because-I-have-you-wrapped-around-my-finger voice, “Tara, Ellie, Grace and I want to have a cook off. You know, like Chopped?” All I could imagine was, eggs splattered on the floor, towers of dirty dishes and stain soaked tea towels.

“Sure sweets. Let’s go.”

The girls talked over each other, outlining how the afternoon would unfold. My job was to come up with the secret ingredient and keep time. But the girls wanted to be challenged, chocolate was not exotic enough.

I played along and actually felt rather privileged to have been invited in. Kitchen aid, food processor, measuring cups and spoons marched to the counter top. They could Google a recipe and ask two how-to questions of me. In 1 hour and 15 minutes they would have to present a plated dessert. The secret ingredient?

Grapefruit infused chocolate mousse with segmented grapefruit and pomegranate seeds
Grapefruit infused poundcake
Essence of grapefruit cake topped with candied grapefruit and grapefruit glaze swoosh
Photo 1: Grapefruit infused chocolate mousse with segmented grapefruit and pomegranate seeds
Photo 2: Grapefruit infused poundcake
Photo 3: Checking out the Grapefruit Challenge results
Photo 4: Essence of grapefruit cake topped with candied grapefruit and grapefruit glaze swoosh

The Recipe

From the Food Network, Paula Deen. Here is a link to the recipe on the Food Network site: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/grapefruit-cake-with-grapefruit-cream-cheese-frosting-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon grapefruit zest
3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
3 egg yolks
3 eggs whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch cake pan with waxed paper and spray with nonstick oil.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center for dry ingredients. Add water, oil, zest, grapefruit juice and egg yolks. Beat until smooth. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar separately until whites are stiff but not dry. Gradually fold egg whites into flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just blended. Do not stir the mixture.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan.

Bake for 25 minutes or until cake springs back when gently touched with a finger. Invert pan on cake rack to cool. Run spatula around edge of cake. Carefully remove from pan. With a serrated knife, gently cut layer in half.

Grapefruit Glaze

Inspired by and Adapted by Bill Bowick (Charleston Sugar Bakeshop) published in Food and Wine, Sept 2010. Link to the website: http://fortycakes.com/2011/03/grapefruit-pound-cake/

Ingredients for the Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated grapefruit zest
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Step-by-Step for Glaze:

Whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth. Poke holes into the top of the cake using a skewer and brush the glaze on the top of the cake.

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