Another one of our guilty viewing pleasures is The Great British Baking Off – I suppose you could say that Mr. D and I are huge fans of any kind of culinary competition. During the first episode which focused on scrummy cakes, I was particularly fascinated by the grapefruit cake whipped up by contestant, Beca. I’m a huge fan of cakes made using lemon, orange, or lime but it never occurred to me that I could use grapefruit – which just happens to be one of my favourite citrus fruits. So here’s Beca’s recipe for her grapefruit cake. I love mascarpone and any kind of fruit curd so I’m going to have a go at making it myself but somehow I doubt it’ll be as great as Beca’s!
- For the grapefruit curd
- For the candied grapefruit peel
- For the cake
- For the grapefruit sugar syrup
- For the mascarpone cream
- For the grapefruit curd, place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Melt the butter in the bowl before adding all the other ingredients and whisk with an electric hand-held mixer until thickened. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge to set further. (You will make more grapefruit curd than you need for the cake. Refrigerate the rest and eat within a week.)
- For the candied grapefruit peel, peel the grapefruit and cut the peel to the desired length and width. Place in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Boil for 10-15 seconds and then drain the peel. Return the peel to the same saucepan and add the sugar with 75ml/2½fl oz of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the liquid is syrupy. Drain the peel and coat in more caster sugar before leaving to cool and dry on a wire rack.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C(fan)/Gas 4. Grease and line 2 x 20cm/8in sandwich tins.
- For the cake, mix all the ingredients together in an electric mixer. Divide the mixture equally between the two tins and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool in the tins for five minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, for the grapefruit sugar syrup, place the grapefruit juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for around five minutes, or until the syrup begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
- While the cakes are still warm, pierce the surface with a cocktail stick all over. Drizzle the syrup evenly over both cakes. Allow to cool completely.
- For the mascarpone cream, whisk the ingredients together until thick and airy, but not too stiff.
- To decorate the cake, place the bottom layer of the cake onto a serving plate.
- Transfer a quarter of the mascarpone cream into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm/½in plain nozzle, and set aside. Then spread on half of the remaining mascarpone cream onto the cake. Spoon over a generous amount of the grapefruit curd – some curd may spill over the edges but don’t worry about this.
- Place the other cake on top and spread the remaining cream on top of the cake, smoothing it all over so that it is evenly distributed.
- Using the piping bag, pipe balls of icing around the edges and centre of the cake. Place a few strips of the candied peel on each ball of icing. Serve straight away, or refrigerate until ready to be devoured.
Who doesn’t like a large slice of Bakewell Tart? And if like me, you’re quite fond of apricots, then you’ll love this modern take on an old classic which uses apricot jam rather than the traditional raspberry. Easy to prepare and delicious – your family and friends will love this. If you don’t scoff the lot yourself, that is!
APRICOT BAKEWELL TART
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Cooling time: 1 hour
For the pastry
225g plain flour
110g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
For the filling
4 heaped tbsp. apricot jam
150g unsalted butter
150g castor sugar
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
150g ground almonds
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp. Almond extract
1 tbsp. flaked almonds
Icing sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit/Gas mark 4
- To make the pastry, put flour, butter, sugar, and salt into food processor.
- Whizz until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add one egg and pulse the processor until the dough comes together.
- Flatten into a disc; cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to about 3mm thick.
- Grease a 20cm, 3.5 cm deep fluted tart tin and line with pastry.
- prick the base and chill for 20 minutes.
- Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beans.
- Cook for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the beans and paper.
- Beat the remaining egg and brush over the inside of the pastry case.
- Cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Leave to cool.
- Spread the jam evenly over the base of the pastry case.
- Cream the butter and castor sugar together.
- Gradually add the eggs and egg yolk.
- Fold in the ground almonds, orange zest and almond extract.
- Spoon the mixture over the jam.
- Scatter with the flaked almonds and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Serve with cream, ice-cream, custard or mascarpone.