Feeling adventurous? Love citrus? Try this aromatic grapefruit pound cake, made with dark brown sugar and plenty of vanilla. The flavours are unique and delicate, making it the perfect loaf to serve alongside a steaming cup of earl grey tea. If you find grapefruit a little bitter for your taste, reduce the zest to 2 teaspoons for a more mellow finish.
Grapefruit Brown Sugar Pound Cake
Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible, “ Perfect Pound Cake”.
3 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (150g)
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
13 (6.5oz) tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (65°-68°F)
1 tablespoon loosely packed grapefruit zest
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the paper again. Flour the tin.
Use a fork to combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large measuring glass.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, salt and baking powder. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer* to ensure that the brown sugar is fully broken up and well blended with the flour. Using the paddle attachment, mix for 20 seconds on low speed to finish blending.
Add the softened butter and half of the stirred egg mixture to the bowl and mix on the lowest setting until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (speed 4 on a Kitchen Aid) and beat for 60 seconds. Scrape the bowl well. Add half of the remaining egg mixture and beat for 20 seconds on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl. Add the final bit of egg mixture along with the grapefruit zest and beat for a final 20 seconds. It is important to beat the mixture enough to aerate the batter and create structure, but keep in mind that over beating will compromise the final texture. Give the bowl a final good scrape to ensure all the ingredients are incorporated.
Scrape the batter into the prepared and smooth the top level with the back of a spoon. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 55-65 minutes, until the middle springs back to the touch or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then lift it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store for up to one week in an airtight container at room temperature.
* Note: The cake may be prepared using a hand mixer. Increase the beating speed to high and follow the recipe as written.
1 1/4 cups icing sugar
3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small bowl, whisk together the three ingredients until smooth. Use more sugar or juice to reach desired consistency. Immediately drizzle over cooled pound cake.