Last year I completely missed blood orange season. So this year I was determined to find some and to make a cake with them. Alas, I was foiled by our local supermarket but determined to make a cake, I thought I'd create one with pink grapefruit instead. I hadn't thought much about the flavour combinations with grapefruit but thought I'd pair it with rosemary and make a bundt cake (I do love any excuse to get my Nordic Ware bundt pans out!)
Grapefruit is naturally quite tart but I hoped that the sugar in the cake would counteract it. I started off by cutting the peel and pith from the grapefruit with a small paring knife and ended up with a big red jewel! I then cut it into its natural segments and took off any bits of pith and membrane left on there and removed the pips with my fingers, putting the flesh into a small bowl. This is actually quite a therapeutic process! The grapefruit flesh was blended with a couple of sprigs of rosemary and mixed with the cake batter giving a lovely combination of flavours.
I also made a grapefruit syrup (grapefruit juice and sugar) to soak the cake when it came from the oven. If you prick the surface of the cake with a skewer and then pour the syrup carefully over the top, it's soaks beautifully into the cake and gives a lovely moistness.
Finally a sticky sweet icing on the top of the cake and a few randomly scattered sprigs of rosemary crowned the cake off to perfection. My boys aren't fond of me sprinkling herbs over my cakes ("Mummy, I love it apart from the leaves you put on it!") but they didn't seem to spot the flecks of green rosemary within the cake itself. There is a sharpness to the cake which they also surprisingly enjoyed as I thought this might be a cake reserved for adults - but apparently not.
I had thought this last week that spring might finally be on its way but there have been snowflakes in the air at times and the temperatures have been freezing cold. Home baking creates a real warmth at this time of year and this is the perfect cake to enjoy with a cup of tea in hand and a big roaring fire.
Happy half term, everyone :) xo
The grapefruit flesh is blended with a couple of sprigs of rosemary and mixed with the cake batter giving a lovely combination of flavours.
pink grapefruit + rosemary bundt cake
makes 1 regular bundt cake, serves 8-10 people
- 3 pink grapefruits
- 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 460g caster sugar (220g for the cake + around 240g for the syrup *see note below)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 rosemary sprigs + extra for decorating
- 300g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 200g icing sugar
- bundt tin
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan)
- Grease your bundt pan well, ensuring that you grease every nook and cranny of the tin
- Prepare your grapefruits - take one and remove the peel and pith with a paring knife; cut it into its natural segments removing any of the membrane or excess pith; put this into a small bowl
- Juice 2 grapefruits into a small saucepan and scoop out any remaining flesh into the first bowl
- Weigh the amount of grapefruit juice you have and add the same amount of caster sugar into the saucepan - I had 240ml juice so added 240g caster sugar)*
- Put the grapefruit flesh into a blender with 3 sprigs of rosemary and blend until you have a pulp, then put to one side
- Cream the butter and 220g caster sugar in a freestanding mixer until light and fluffy, around 5-10 minutes
- Add the eggs and mix to combine
- Then add the blended grapefruit and rosemary and mix on low speed to combine them
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl and then add this to the mixer on low speed until it's all combined
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake for around 40-45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean
- Whilst the cake is in the oven, make the syrup - bring to the boil the juice and sugar in the saucepan and then reduce the heat and simmer for around 15 minutes
- When the cake is baked, leave it for around 10 minutes to cool and then turn it out onto a wire rack
- Using a skewer, poke little holes across the surface of the cake and then carefully put the syrup over the surface, allowing it to sink into the cake (you will want to put a board or plate underneath to catch any drips)
- Sifted the icing sugar into a freestanding mixer and add a couple of tablespoons of the syrup and mix until you have a smooth consistency - keep adding the syrup until you get a pourable consistency
- The icing is very pale so disappears into the cake when left for a while so it's better to add this as you serve the cake and you can put any remaining icing in a small jug so extra is there for anyone wanting more with their cake
- Adorn the top of the cake with little sprigs of rosemary and enjoy it freshly baked