Sunday, April 21, 2013

Whole-wheat Grapefruit Cake-- It's good! Really!

My wonderful daughter and son-in-law gave me "The Smitten Kitchen" cookbook by Deb Perelman for my birthday!  It has so many tasty looking recipes, well, you know-- where to begin? :)  I've made her Gooey Cinnamon Squares, and they were fantastic!  
I kept coming back to a recipe she had for a grapefruit cake that used olive oil instead of butter.  This sounded delicious AND a bit healthier, too!  I wanted to try it, but I thought I might mess with it a bit to make it even easier to make using the food processor (I streamlined the procedure and it still came out tender and moist.
) and possibly a bit MORE healthy by using whole-wheat pastry flour.  If you haven't discovered whole-wheat pastry flour, you have to give it a chance!  I've tried to incorporate whole-wheat flour in a lot of baked goods, but have had some dismal results.  Not only were they heavy and dense, but they had a weird, kind of bitter taste to me.  You can compensate by adding some white flour, but by the time it tastes good, the whole-wheat flour has made a mere token appearance at best.  Whole-wheat pastry flour, however, is actually quite different.  It's made from the whole grain of soft-wheat flour (regular whole-wheat is made from a mixture of soft and hard wheat grains or only hard wheat grains).  So, it's analogous to white pastry flour, which makes super tender cakes, flaky crusts, tender cookies-- well, you get the idea.  Anyway, so it seemed like the flavor of whole-wheat would go well with the olive oil.  The grapefruit adds a lovely floral / citrus note.  The cake uses very little sugar too, and some of it is raw or turbinado sugar.  This type of sugar isn't metabolized any differently by the body, but because it's not as refined, it has some of the healthy minerals from the sugar cane still present.  
Well, have I convinced you to eat this cake for health reasons?!  Ha!  I guess that's going a little too far, but if you try it, I think you'll feel pretty good :)

Note:  The directions below are given for using a food processor.  If you don't have one, just grate the grapefruit zest by hand and mix it in the sugar with the paddle attachment of the mixer and proceed!

Whole-wheat Grapefruit Cake (makes one 8x8-inch square cake), Adapted from the "Smitten Kitchen"
1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 grapefruit
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup raw sugar (or use all regular sugar)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbl. grapefruit juice
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 Tbl. sugar
1/3 cup grapefruit juice
Powdered sugar
Spray a square pan with PAM or other baking spray.  Preheat the oven to 350F.
Put the sugars in the bowl of a food processor with the chopping blade.  Using a veggie peeler, peel thin strips of grapefruit rind (as thin as you can) until you've peeled the whole fruit.  Put the strips in with the sugar and process until all the peel is fine and incorporated with the sugar.  With the machine running, add the olive oil in a thin stream until thoroughly mixed.  Add the eggs and mix well again.  Scrape down the bowl.  Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, flour, juice and yogurt.  Process for a couple seconds, then scrape down the bowl and process again until the mixture is smooth.  Don't overmix.  Stop as soon as everything seems incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out cleanly.  Allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
Mix the sugar and grapefruit juice in a glass cup or measuring cup and microwave until it bubbles. Stir to mix well.
Poke holes into the cake with a fork.  Slowly pour the glaze all over the cake.  (Some recipes suggest removing the cake from the pan before pour or brushing the syrup over the cake, but by keeping the cake in the pan, all the syrup will be soaked up and you won't lose a tasty drop!)
Invite a friend or the new neighbor over and serve the cake warm or at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar.  It is terrific with a cup of coffee!