I’ve been on a quest for the perfect IPA-inspired dessert. Spoiler alert: this post is not about that dessert because I’m still mulling it over and tinkering and drinking beer for research. But I know a few things about this mythical sweet. It must have hops. It must have conifers. And it must have grapefruit. My love for lemon curd borderlines on fetish, so I thought grapefruit curd had to be even better.
For this recipe you cook down the grapefruit juice by half to concentrate the flavor. I reduced the sugar a bit to make up for how sweet the grapefruit reduction is. I added a bit of pink food dye to make it look the color of grapefruit juice but you can leave it as-is too. This yummy curd has the bright flavor of grapefruit with just a hint of bitterness. It’s great anywhere you would usually use lemon curd. This particular grapefruit curd was layered with caramelized spruce syrup and vanilla buttercream between layers of white cake for a decadent cake. Since it was the cutting cake for one of my favorite friend’s wedding, I topped it off with some white chocolate “sails” brushed with edible gold and her lovely vintage toppers. So fancy!
I spent a lot of time driving myself crazy over the perfect cake but in the end I just went with a version of this cake and I think it was just right. The gold stand, gold leaf, gold sails, gold sprinkles, #goldeverything really glam-ed up the simple green ombre frosting that hinted at the spruce flavor inside.
In a medium saucepan, reduce the grapefruit juice by half to 1/2 c over medium-high heat. Allow to cool slightly.
Add eggs, egg yolks and sugar and cook over low heat until mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon, 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter one tablespoon at a time until smooth. Stir in grapefruit zest.
Pour in bowl or jar and cover top with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Keeps in the fridge for a week, in the freezer for a month.
During all those walks around the neighborhood gathering violets and dandelions for jelly, I started to notice that baking inspiration literally grows on trees around here. There are lilacs, redbuds and magnolias galore. They all have edible parts but I was all flowered out. Then I happened to see a post from Once Upon A Weed about spruce syrup and remembered there’s a spruce growing in the parkway just a few blocks from here. It’s about 40 feet tall and absolutely covered in itty-bitty spruce tips. Continue reading “Carmelized Spruce Syrup”
Most years my birthday is well after Easter. So usually by the time I’m thinking birthday cake, I’m so over bunnies and eggs and pastels and spring. But not this year! So I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and make a birthday cake that was also Easter-y! I had dozens of my favorite bunny cookies and thought I’d make a pastel cake adorned with pink and white bunny cookies, pastel watercolor buttercream and a white chocolate sail. And then I accidentally made this. My creative process is what some might call chaotic, but I prefer the term “experimentally unhinged”. Continue reading “Spring Woodland Cake”
There’s nothing I like better than inserting myself into someone else’s special event. But I have a pretty good excuse. As an extrovert who is also unfortunately awkward socially, I love going to parties but struggle to enjoy myself because half the time I can’t hear the other person over the voice in my head going, “You’re talking about yourself again. Is her name Heather or Michelle? You should have worn the other earrings.” I just recently figured out that I do much better at social events if I have a job, task or role. Then as long as I’m taking the coats or washing the dishes or whatever, I can make conversation without feeling like a total dummy. Continue reading “Interstellar Cake”
This week I’ll be posting three of my best frosting recipes, a basic frosting for every occasion. Today’s topic: Perfect Crusting Cream Cheese Frosting. Continue reading “Perfect Crusting Cream Cheese Frosting”
This week I’ll be posting three of my best frosting recipes, a basic frosting for every occasion. Today’s topic: Rich Chocolate-Almond Buttercream. Continue reading “Rich Chocolate-Almond Buttercream”
This week I’ll be posting three of my best frosting recipes, a basic frosting for every occasion. Today’s topic: the Best Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream. Continue reading “Best Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream”
With so many sweets around at Easter, it might be overkill to make an Easter Cake but a small pastel cake on a cheerful cake stand can be a perfect focal point for the dessert table. Plus, never pass up a chance to bake a cake. I wanted to make a layer cake that would be sweet and light with a bit of a crunchy coating. After looking through umpteen yellow cake recipes, which always seem to taste like cornbread when you make them from scratch, I decided to try the banana chiffon cake from Martha Stewart’s CAKES book. Continue reading “Banana Chiffon Easter Cake”