Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Grapefruit Poppy Seed Loaf



This is the way to use up all of those grapefruits you bought because you heard they will help you lose weight faster.  But how many grapefruits do you really need to eat.  I tried to eat one every day, I really did.  Grapefruit for breakfast.  Grapefruit for lunch.  Grapefruit for dinner.  “They” say(the famous health experts) grapefruit keeps you full so you don’t get full eating other stuff.  I suppose it could be true, I pretty much was full of grapefruit.  So I tired of the grapefruit and made something completely opposite and not on “their”diet. 


Grapefruit poppy seed loaf sounded like a fantastic combination.  It is one of those recipes you think to yourself “Gee this could be really great or maybe it won’t”.  I wasn’t sure how the flavor of the cake would end up.  It could have been sour or sweet.  With grapefruits you really don’t know. 


I found this recipe in an older and more well-worn copy of a Rachel Ray Magazine.  I am not sure which one, as the page of the recipe separated itself from the magazine.  I believe there was a whole section on what do to with all of the grapefruit you get sick of eating.    I jest.  This cake/bread was moist and delicious.  When you take a bite, the flavor profile starts out really sweet, but as you chew it gets more sour.  It is a beautiful cake as well.  The recipe also calls for a grapefruit powdered sugar glaze, but I opted not to make that. 


Grapefruit Poppy Seed Loaf


5 large eggs338

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

2 tablespoons grated grapefruit peel

1/2 cup grapefruit juice

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 2/3  cups granulated sugar

2 sticks butter, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups sifted cake flour341

2 cups confectioners’ sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs,poppy seeds, grapefruit peel and vanilla.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup grapefruit juice until the sugar is dissolved.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds.  Gradually beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar and the salt on high speed.  Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl so you get all of the creamy goodness.  Beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.


Beat in the egg mixture a small amount at a time. Scrape down the sides of your bowl again and continue to mix for another 3 minutes.

Mix in the flour in 3 parts on low speed.

Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean; 60 to 70 minutes.

Transfer the pan to a rack placed on a sheet of parchment paper, or wax paper.  Using a skewer or long toothpick or even a fork, poke holes all over the cake and brush with half of the grapefruit/sugar mixture that you made earlier. 352 

Let the cool another 10 minutes.  Run a knife along the sides of the loaf to loosen it from the sides of the pan.  Invert the loaf onto rack and continue brushing it with the remaining syrup.  Turn loaf right side up and let cool completely.  I would say an hour at least.  I know when I make a cake it takes for ever to cool because I am so impatient to get to the next step.

When the cake is completely cool, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup of grapefruit juice.  Drizzle over cake and let set before slicing.




Saturday, March 26, 2011

What is a Little Coconut Between Friands?



So I took hiatus…again.  But now I am back and way better than ever.  Things have changed in my life for the better.  I have lost 7 pounds, received some new things, 0h so excited about that, and have a better attitude.  I am happy to announce my cookbook collection has continued to grow while I shrunk and I hope that is the way it is going to be for awhile.  Still busy.  Oh so busy, but I know that I can take time for myself, because I need to too.


Here is a picture of my new toy.  After years of waiting, it finally happened.  She is a beauty isn’t she?  I had my choice between the silver one and the black one and it was one of the hardest decisions of my life.  Seriously, my daughter and I went back and forth for 20 minutes weighing pros and cons.  Since the refrigerator is black and silver and the oven is silver and black, we when with this one.




So, what is a little coconut between friands?  Absolutely delicious!  This recipe comes from a brand new book in my collection.  I have wanted this one for a long time. Around My French Table is a beautiful cookbook by  Dorie Greenspan.  There are so many recipes that I want to make in this book!  The pictures are gorgeous, the writing is so personal and each recipe is more and more mouth-watering.  I started with this recipe, “Coconut Friands”, because it was simple and straight-forward.  Friands are the New Zeeland or Australian version of the French Financier, a dense moist pastry.  This recipe can be made in one bowl and there is virtually no clean up.  The bowl I chose was the bowl of that beauty in the picture above.  Oh and I love coconut!


Coconut Friands


4 large egg whites, Dorie suggests that the egg whites be at room temperature. I couldn’t wait that long.  My eggs sat out about 15 minutes.

1 1/2 cups shredded dried coconut.  I just used my everyday store brand.  The author suggested unsweetened if you would like to use that.

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt460

8 tablespoons butter (1 stick) melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I used a mini muffin pan that fits twelve muffins.  Butter the muffin tins with butter or use the mini-paper linings. 

Put the egg whites in a bowl using an electric mixer or a stand mixer and whip the whites until the are foamy.  With the mixer running add the rest of the ingredients, being careful to go gentle with the flour and butter.  The batter will be really thick and shiny when you are finished.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan bake for 17 to 20 minutes.  Be sure to rotate the pan half way through cooking to ensure even baking.  Remove the friands from the muffin tin as soon as they come out of the oven and let cool on a rack.   These muffin/friands have a dense, chewy texture that is reminiscent of a macaroon.  Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee, or every time you walk past them as they are cooling!