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Monday, 24 August 2015

Baking a Grapefruit Cake

In the previous blog I told you about the Paw Patrol Cake that my nephew wanted for his birthday. I baked a dozen or so vanilla cupcakes and knew that this would not satisfy him since his idea and his parents' idea were two vastly different worlds. I then decided that I would bake him the Paw Patrol Station that he wanted as well. However, I would bake a different flavoured cake to keep it a little more interesting.

I guessed that the kids would prefer the cupcakes and the adults would be settled with the bigger cake. A more fruity flavor would be in order then. However, if the kids do want the big cake, the flavor should not be overpowering. Grapefruit is an excellent middleground. Its flavor is not as strong as that of orange, yet strong enough to give that extra zing to your baking. Let it sit for a day allowing the flavors to develop and the next day the cake will be even better. Start by putting your dry ingredients through a sieve. I measure 2 cups flour (500 ml).

Add a cup of sugar (250 ml). If you are a sweet tooth, you can increase the sugar to 300 ml.

Add 10 ml (2 teasppons) of baking powder.

I always add a pinch of salt, although this is optional. Sieve all of the above ingredients in a bowl.

Separate 5 eggs.

Add 125 ml milk to the yolks.

Add a teaspoonful Vanilla Essence (5 ml).

Add 100 ml cooking oil.

Add the juice from half a grapefruit (approximately 100 ml or thereabouts). Mix all of the wet ingredients well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.

You will often see that recipes call upon you to add Cream of Tartar to the egg whites. This simply speeds up the time it takes to stiffen the egg whites and is completely optional. If you prefer, add 1/2 teaspoonful to the egg whites.

Stiffen the egg whites. When you lift the beater out and the points remain stiff without folding over as in the photo, you know the egg whites are ready.

Fold the egg whites into the mix with a spoon. The reason you do this is to assist in the rising of the cake. The protein of the egg whites will settle first, trapping the air and allowing the cake to rise (warm air rises).

Spray two round cake tins with a non-stick spray. I prefer to line the bottoms of the tins with wax paper, but it is optional. My little helper and birthday boy loves cutting things out and he was very happy to lend a helping hand. Stick the cake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about an hour. Keep an eye on it. The cake is ready when your test pin comes out clean or when it starts pulling away from the sides.

Let it cool in the tins for a while allowing it to sweat a bit. This will help it to come out of the tin much more easily later. When it is cooled down enough to touch by hand, turn the cake over on a wire rack.

Remove the wax paper. Can you see the fruit particles showing at the bottom of the cake? Yum!

Carefully turn the cakes right side up and allow to cool completely.

I'll tell you more about the decorating in the next blog.

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