Pink grapefruit and mint drizzle cake

April 28, 2012

Sweet, soft sponge cake soaked in tangy, fresh grapefruit
syrup, all topped off with a crunchy, zingy minted sugar

If you fancy a bit of a bake this Saturday then look no further than my pink grapefruit and mint drizzle cake! All the softness of a classic sponge and the freshness of a lemon drizzle but with the sweet, zingyness of pink grapefruit and tinglyness of mint!
The inspiration for this cake came from a very odd source.. my washing up liquid! I use pink grapefruit washing up liquid and I've always loved the candy sweet scent that was cut through by a fresh clean menthol note so I took to the kitchen to experiment and the pink grapefruit and mint drizzle was born!


For the sponge:

4 eggs
230g caster sugar
230g self raising flour
230g margarine, I used Stork

For the drizzle:

the juice of 1/2 a grapefruit
3 tbsp caster sugar

For the icing:

the juice of 1/2 a grapefruit
about 6 tsp icing sugar

For the minted sugar:

2tbsp granulated sugar
small handful of fresh mint leaves

Turn the oven to 180c.

Because the sponge is going to be soaked in a sticky syrup I don't worry too much about making as light as other sponges, having a bit of a dense cake I find gives a richer syrupy finish. Don't get be wring I don't end up with brick-like puddings! But rather than whipping the egg whites separately before folding them in I use a very all in one approach to get my sponge made and in the oven.

In a large bowl, cream together the marg and caster sugar using an electric hand whisk, give it a good beating until the mixture is a lot paler in colour.

Crack in one egg at a time and sprinkle with a little flour before whisking this in, wait to crack in your next egg until the last and it's floury blanket have been completely mixed into the batter.

When you have a thick, creamy cake batter, pour it into a cake tin lined with greaseproof or baking paper. I used a loaf tin because I like to have the drizzle cake cut into slabs so that the ratio of crunchy mint to sweet sponge is just right.

Bake for about 30min, this could vary greatly depending on your oven and the flour and eggs... and quite honestly the tides and the moon. I baked mine for 30 mins then checked by lightly pressing the top and sticking a thin skewer into the centre of the load, mine wasn't quite done at 30 mins so it ended up having a total of 45mins with the last 10 being on a lower heat of 160c. You want your cake to have risen beautifully and be golden brown on top, if you fine that the size of the cake means that the top is colouring but the centre is still sloppy then turn the oven down low until the sponge is set but not cremated on top.

Whilst the cake is baking squeeze you grapefruit. To make sure you get the most juice out of it you can, before you cut it roll it around on a flat surface with a firm pressure form your palm. Split the juice into about half and half, it doesn't need to be exact. The reason I do half and half is that I like to have a good drizzle running through the cake but also a delicate, frosted topping of icing to the cake.

Into one half, pour your caster sugar, stir and leave to dissolve, stir every few minutes until its a clear, sweet syrup. In the other half of your juice mix in the icing sugar, you want a opaque icing that is the consistency of PVA glue, this is so it will drizzle from the spoon but set into a light, crisp frost on the top of your cake.

When you cake has baked, remove it from the oven and prick it all over the top with a thin skewer, you're better having lots of small holes that run through to the bottom of the sponge rather than fewer larger holes. They will be covered by the icing so don't worry if you think your cake now looks a bit holey. Whilst the sponge is still warm drizzle over the syrup so that it soak into the sponge. Leave the sponge to cool completely before drizzling the icing over the top of the cake otherwise it will melt and slide off the sponge.

Whilst you're waiting for the sponge to cool you can make up your minted sugar. Pour the granulated sugar and tuck your mint leaves into a pestle and mortar. Give them a good grind together until the sugar is a rich, emerald green and the leaves have completely melted into the sugar.

After you've done all of your drizzling and your icing has set into little rivers of shimmery sweetness, sprinkle over your jade sugar.

Cut into serious slabs and enjoy!

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