August 12, 2012 by jenniebean10
I was definitely spoiled by France. After an amazing month over there, I have to admit, I was a bit bummed to return to Gettysburg. It’s been really hot and muggy, things are pretty quiet around town, and I can’t help but feel a little down. That’s partly why I haven’t been blogging or talking about my trip to France — because it will remind me of how great it was! And then I’ll get all glum about the fact that I’m here, and not there. In three days, I’ll be this guy:So, I’m sorry for not writing and not finishing telling you about my trip, but I’ll get around to it! It’s just not high on my list of things to do right now. I will say, the thing that cheers me up the most is creating something new. If you hadn’t noticed, I love baking. I woke up this morning and was inspired to make something with the grapefruit in my fridge, rather than eat it plain for breakfast. That was a good decision, considering how delicious this grapefruit cake turned out to be. My apartment smells like a dream from this cake, and I wish everyone reading this could experience this with me. But since you can’t all teleport to Gettysburg, I’m excited to share the recipe with you!
One of the ingredients I used in this recipe is tonka bean*. My friend Célia brought some of these highly aromatic beans from France, and showed me that you can grate a little bit into sweet dishes (I first had it in lemon squares) for an amazing flavor. Because there coumarin naturally occurs in these beans, and the US loves outdated (1950s) research, culinary use of the tonka bean is illegal here in the states. Read this article from the Atlantic to learn more. One reason to risk ingesting coumarin from tonka beans? It tastes delicious. If I could describe it, I would say it smells and tastes like an almond-honey-vanilla bean. How can you argue with that?
Grapefruit Thyme Yogurt Cake
(adapted from Joy the Baker)
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. evaporated cane sugar
1 c. plain yogurt
1/3 c. olive oil
juice and zest of 1 grapefruit (approx. 1/2 c. juice and 1T zest)
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 sprigs of thyme
a tiny bit of tonka bean*, finely grated (optional)
fresh ginger, for glaze
3 T. powdered sugar, for glaze
For the cake:
1) Butter and flour a springform or bundt pan, position your rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350°F.
2) Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and grated tonka bean in a small bowl.
3) Pour the cane sugar on a plate and zest the grapefruit over the sugar. Scrape the leaves off the sprig of thyme onto the sugar, and rub together with your hands or the back of a wooden spoon. The sugar will become very fragrant and smell delicious.
4) In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and scented sugar with a wooden spoon until the eggs are pale and well incorporated. Add the yogurt, olive oil, vanilla, and 1-2 T of the grapefruit juice.
5) Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just until combined. Pour into the cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
6) Set pan on a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen, and remove cake from pan, letting cool completely on the rack.
Prepare the glaze:
Pour the remaining grapefruit juice and 3 T powdered sugar into a small saucepan. Zest a small amount of fresh ginger into the pan, whisk together, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add a sprig of thyme, and simmer for 10 minutes until glaze has thickened.
Once cake has cooled completely, poke holes in it with a fork and place it on a serving plate. Spread the glaze on the cake using a pastry brush. Serve and enjoy!