cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Grapefruit In The Grass

et ça c'est un gâteau de pamplemousse
So what do you think about grapefruits.

Moi, I think of little Flo back in Paris; the sole chocolate-less child on the playground who insisted in constant conviction that she did in fact prefer the sour pink pamplemousse over the chocolate biscuit. We call that uniqueness. I hear you ma petite, the koolaid kid understands. There is something about citris and its near unpalatable bitterness that draws us in. Maybe the colors; bright greens, oranges, yellows, and pinks. Could a lemmon's personality be anything other than perky? Citrus screams summer in lemonades and sorbets, yet it also screams winter in spiced oranges and satsumas. Therefore citrus, on the whole, is a screamer all year round.

(the photo above the grass is my entry in this months contest of food photography at Click! The Photo Event themed citrus)

Grapefruits, also known as the forbidden fruit of Barbados (oh yeah...) are surprisingly produced in the greatest quantity in the United States, China pulling a not-so tight Second by around 50% fewer the export capacity. If only the gold count were the same...High in vitamin C, and antioxidents (yes let's get our levels checked) grapefruits are that "classic" diet food. But my friends, did you know that the flesh of a grapefruit is 90.48% water? Perhaps it is why we reach for one when we are parched, when we are thirsty and tired, burned a little by the sun, and sweaty even at a standstill. Refreshing, a slap in the face, cool and sour refresh us. But if it's sour, you can't forget to add the sweet.

So a summer cake, what would you make a summer cake from? Too hot in the kitchen, that is the correct answer. But if you can handle the heat (we here at the Salty Cod are building our heat tolerance) then fire up the ovens. But we must have a reason to make a cake, cakes need venues, need purpose, that is what solidifies a cakes being. Give me a reason, and I will make you a cake. Then let's swim in the lake.

My housemate S is having guests, that's a reason. Ancien amis from my first two years in Spokane expecting the revival of mallory-experimental baked goods, that's a reason. How about a selfish reason. I dedicate this cake to my knee! Yes, my little knee who has come back to me. Who bakes a cake for a knee. So perhaps, maybe this one time, I will write for grapefruits, as my editor told me, why not write about grapefruits for grapefruits? they deserve. So, I baked this cake for the sake of grapefruits. 14 August/Aout/ Agosto is now grapefruit day. Hey, so on y va.

I'm pulling out the flour and pre heating the oven and my phone whistles. It's E, what are you doing. i'm bored. The reply--i'm baking a cake. Why? Because. You can help if you bring me some mint. From where? the store, unless your new backyard herb garden is open for business. Ha Ha. I'll go. 5 minutes later, they're out of mint. grrr, get basil. They're out of basil. Do they have any bloody fresh herbs? Thyme and lemon grass. Fine, get the grass. What the hell am I going to do with lemon grass? Make Thai style noodles? Oh and E, get another grapefruit, we'll candy the peel. We'll what?

The cake itself is a variation cross-breed between the classic lemon pound cake and herbal short bread. Grapefruit and powdered lemmon grass went straigt into the cake batter divided into two rounds for thinness. While the cake cooked, we candied. Salty Cod first: never candied a peel before. Proud moment. The leftover syrup from the candying was quite fragrant, hmm, lets make the same thing from the lemon grass and have a glaze to wrap the cakes in before the grapefruit buttercream frosting. Voila, c'est un gateau pure Salty Cod.

Grapefruit Grass Cake:
Ingredients: 1.5 cups flour ~ 2 tsp baking powder ~1 cup yogurt ~ .5 tsp salt ~ 1 cup sugar ~ 3 eggs ~ 1 packet vanilla sugar (ha ha suckers! I brought mine back from France) ~ .5 cup oil ~ .25 cup squeezed grapefruit juice ~ 2 tbsp grapefruit zest ~ 2 tsp crushed lemon grass

mix dry ingredients. in a seperate bowl beat sugar and oil, add eggs, add yogurt, add juice, add zest. Combine the wet and dry. butter and flour two round cake pans, and cook for ~30 minutes at 350.

Candied grapefruit: carefully remove peel from grapefruit, cut into thin strips. boil in water in a saucepan for 1 minute, and repeat for times. In a skillet, dissolve 1 cup of sugar into half a cup of water and bring to boil. boil peels in syrup for 10 minutes. Remove and let drip dry on a rack for minimum 4 hours. Once dry and sticky, roll in sugar. Et voila! Use leftover syrup for glaze, or repeat procedure using lemongrass, though dicard the grass when syrup is acquired.

Grapefruit buttercream: .5 cup butter beaten, 4 cups powdered sugar, 1tsp vanilla, 1/3 cup grapefruit juice with pulp. Whip it all together.

En Francaise

Ingrédients: 200g farine du blé ~ 2 cuiller à café lévure chimique ~ 200g sucre ~ 8oz yaourt ~ 110 ml d'huile ~ 3 oeufs ~ 1 sachet de vanille sucré ~ 2 cuiller à soupe de zest du pomplemousse ~ 50 ml de jus de pomplemousse.

mélangez les ingrédients séches. dans un autre bol, fouettez les oeufs, sucre, et huile, ajoutez le yaourt, ajoutez le jus, ajoutez le zest. Mélangez les deux. Diviser la batture entre deux ronds. Faissez cuire pour ~30 minutes à 180.

Pamplemousse Sucré: Enlevez le peau doucement, et coupez en petite tranches longs. Faissez bouillir de l'eau dans un petite casserole avec les peaus pour un minute. Repetez 4 fois. Dans un auter casserole, faissez bouilli 200g du sucre et 125ml de l'eau. Mélangez les peaus dans le sirop pour 10 minutes.Enlevez et se dessécher pour 4 heurs. Roullez dans sucre.

A cake for the sake of grapefruits. They deserve. Pink is such a happy color, we do not eat enough pink food. Though I made this cake from wheat, I enjoy it none the less. Sight and smell may be just as powerful senses as taste. No not really, but you look, and I look. We look together. And next time, we try it with gluten free flour. Eat a grapefruit, don't think about the heat, think about...think about the grapefruit.


Aran said...

lovely... i'm intrigued by the lemongrass in it!

bee said...

thanks for participating Mallory. Cake looks fantastic! You have a wonderful site.


Tartelette said...

I have crazy growing mint and lemongrass growing in the garden right now...hmmm I see this cake neing made in a near future!! My mom keeps mailing me vanilla sugar packets no matter how many times I tell her I make my own. I love anything citrus and the bitter the better (yellow grapefruit rocks). You did a fabulous job with the cake and the candied peel!

Rachel said...

Your blog always makes me incredibly hungry. mmm

Elaine Myers said...

sorry I made a couple grammar mistakes up there.

Elaine Myers said...

Wow!!! I am speechless! I just sent you an email Mallory. If you need to talk some more about that, anytime, feel free to contact me.
Elaine :)

Ryan said...

I loved the grapefruit stats! Candied grapefruit has me curious.. I just might move on from barley water to candied grape fruit:)

Katie said...

Oh my god! I love grapefruits. If only I had some. The cake looks like heaven - I'll take half of it, please.

What is vanilla sugar?

Anonymous said...

The flesh of a watermelon is actually 97% water! Can you believe? I know, it's hard to.

Legit piece.

You have an editor?? You're ramping up the budget, then, over at the Salty Cod.

Christy said...

For some reason I like the sound of forbidden fruit of barbados so much better than grapefruit. But it would be such an anti climax. Maybe they should keep the name for the blood orange.

But I digress. Beautiful creation, can't believe they ran out of herbs in the grocery store. People must be using them to make iced teas or something to beat the summer heat. See how I digress again? Can't you just tell that I have ADD? Anyway, I've seen two grapefruit posts in two days (the other one on Aran's site). So I'm definitely getting the sign and going out to buy grapefruit this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Anonymous!

Yes, Salty Cod's ramping up the budget and you have no idea how dearly it pays to its Editor every single week...



Editor P.

Mallory Elise said...

11!!!!!!!!! 11 is the most comments ever here at the salty cod! now i know to use more grapefruits...well thank you all for talking to me, i love you all that much more.

Thank you for the compliment tartelette.

Rachel i'll make you a Rio themed cake one of these days.

and you my editor, i think anonymous was hinting at hiring your services. i will inform them they can't afford you.

Katie i've only seen vanilla sugar packets in France, but i'm going to make some, so i'll let you know how that goes.

Anonymous--yes budget budget but i am careless with the finances and spend them where i please.

Elaine im glad youre here.

Ryan--you aren't actually breaking away from macaroni and cookies are you!?

ADD Christy--I like forbidden fruit of barbados better too, yes safeway bloody sucks here, and now im expecting a grapefruit creation from you. so you better produce!

pea & pear said...

Wow!! That cake looks absolutely delicious... absolutely delicious!!! I am actually terrible at making cakes look like this, you have done a fabulous job!!!!
pea & pear :)