Thursday, May 5, 2011

Recommended Recipe: Grapefruit Cake

"Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!" 
This phrase is usually attributed to Marie Antoinette and translates from French to English as 
"Let them eat cake!" 
After a bit of Internet research I found that there is disagreement about who originally spoke these words and what it actually meant. Commonly, it is believed that the princess was so out of touch with her poor countrymen that she did not realize that if they had no bread, they could not eat cake. That seems plausible to me, but perhaps Miss Marie was indeed misjudged. Some scholars say that brioche is not cake, but a nourishing egg bread that could be beneficial to her starving subjects. Others declare that Marie Antoinette did not utter the phrase at all. 
It makes no difference to me. I will eat cake whenever I have a chance.
It's easy to fall in love with Disney World. I have done that over and over. I love the weather in the winter, the fun around every corner and the food. This year I ate Grapefruit Cake at the Brown Derby Restaurant in Epcot. This cake was special. 
I came home looking for a recipe.
I settled on a recipe for Grapefruit Cake by Paula Deen with Grapefruit Cream Cheese Frosting. Follow the link to the Food Network site to read the recipe that I used. Print the recipe and study it well before you start to make it. I will tell you about making the cake, but first a word of caution. This is not a slap dash recipe. It takes time and care. Please follow the recipe precisely and don't begin until you have the time to get the cake baked. No starting and stopping, it doesn't work well with cake.
Wash the grapefruit well, first. I grated the grapefruit zest with the microplane, but would use a finer grater next time. With zest, it seems, the finer the better.
The flavor of your cake is going to be determined by the flavor of the grapefruit you use. We have had excellent grapefruit shipped into GriggsDakota this year, so the flavor was fine.
I have precut parchment circles in my cupboard. You can trace the bottom of your cake pan onto parchment and cut it out. Use both cooking spray and parchment. I made two cakes on the day I took the photos, but the recipe makes just one nine inch round.
 Always use fresh high quality ingredients. We can't blame Paula Deen if this recipe doesn't turn out, because it has been baked in many kitchens.
To separate the eggs easily, use an egg separator tool. They come in many styles. Even a drop of yolk in your white will ruin the whip that provides air and lightness to the cake. If you break a yolk, set it aside and try again. No exceptions.
There are two components to this cake batter:  the beaten egg whites 
And the rich batter. If you have only one mixer bowl, whip up the egg whites first, then transfer them into a clean glass or stainless bowl. Refrigerate the egg whites for just the time it takes to mix the batter.
Once the batter is mixed as directed in the recipe, drop the egg white mixture on top.
Then fold the two mixtures together by working with a rubber scraper. Push down to the bottom of the edge of the bowl, scrape across to the middle of the bowl and lift to the top of the mixture gently. Then repeat in another spot from the edge.
 Work all the way around the edge of the bowl until it is combined. Gentleness is necessary to preserve the air we've added to the egg whites when we whipped them. This technique makes for a light cake.
Farmer Fred stepped in to help me with photos. It looks like my magic spell worked. He is visible in my magic mixing bowl.
Bake and frost as directed.
I followed Ms. Deen's directions for finishing the cake. Canned grapefruit taste very good as a filling in the cake. You could section out fresh ones, I suppose, but by the time you get to that point, you will be happy to take a short cut and open a can or jar. I'm sorry that I forgot to take a picture of the finished cake and didn't realize it until it was gone. Maybe you could make one for Mother's Day. Next time I make it, and I expect it will be soon, I will add the photo.
 Paula Deen's recipe is a winner, enjoy.
But a return to the Brown Derby in Epcot will be on my agenda when I get back to Disney World.





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