When I was younger we used to get grapefruits for breakfast sometimes. We’d sprinkle them with sugar to try and counteract the sour and bitter tang that these fruits can have. These days I rarely buy them, but I do drink Nippy’s grapefruit juice and I love the pink grapefruits from Fat Goose Fruits at the Adelaide Farmers Market.
The other day I just happened to stumble across the motherlode. My boyfriend had dropped off three grapefruits from his tree at home, as they sat in the fridge unused I decided they’d be perfect for a gin cocktail (50ml gin, 50ml grapefruit juice, 1 egg white, bit of sugar. Shake in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Pour over ice and top with soda water). That day I got a phone call from my sister.
Did I like grapefruits? Did I want a bag of them?
She’d come across a bag for free outside someone’s house and thought I might find some use. So I ended up with more grapefruits than I could use. Let’s just say we got through half a bottle of gin and I still had more than enough left over.
This recipe is based on a gluten free orange cake* that I made for my first wedding cake, and that I also make as my (currently) only gluten free cupcake option for the Cupcake Table. It’s not for everyone. The recipe uses whole fruit, and even though the boiling does reduce some of the bitterness, it’s an acquired taste for some but perfect for those who don’t like their cakes too sweet. I also used the old breakfast trick and added a bit of extra sugar when I made the switch from oranges to grape fruits.
220g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean (split & with the seeds scraped in to the pot)
2 thinly sliced grapefruit
Butter (to grease)
3 free range eggs
250g caster sugar
300g almond meal
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
Juice of 1 grapefruit
1. Combine the sugar, water and vanilla bean for the topping. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is disolved.
2. Add the slices of grapefruit so that they are covered by the sugar syrup and simmer for around 15 minutes.
3. Grease a cake pan liberally with butter.
4. Remove the grapefruit slices from the syrup, and line the bottom of the cake pan with the slices. Keep the syrup to one side for later.
5. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
6. Place grapefruits in a saucepan of cold water. Boil and then cook for about 15 minutes. Refresh the oranges under cold water and then repeat with another saucepan of cold water for the same amount of time.
7. Roughly chop grapefruits, and then blitz in a food processor until smooth.
8. Beat eggs and sugar in a food processor until they are pale and airy. Fold in grapefruit mix, flour and baking powder. Add the mixture to the cake pan over the grapefruit slices, and place in the oven for 1 hour.
9. Remove the cake from the oven and turn upside down on a plate or cake stand. Carefully lift off the base. If any of the grapefruit slices pull off they can easily be re-added to the top of the cake.
10. Remove any remaining vanilla bean pod from the sugar syrup and add in your grapefruit juice. Cook until the syrup thickens a little.
11. Pour the syrup over the cake and serve. The cake is delicious served with some whipped fresh cream.