Everyone needs a few reliable loaf cake recipes. The ones you look to when those bananas in the fruit bowl are on the turn, or you require something quick for that afternoon catch up with family or friends.
I'm slowly settling on my favourites for the banana and carrot varieties, but when it comes to citrus I'm still divided. Some days there's nothing better than a simple lemon syrup cake, but on others I'm after something with a little more punch.
So today it was all about bitterness. Some gorgeous, tart ruby grapefruits were paired with a lush, grassy olive oil in a sumptuous loaf punctuated by the sweet, rich bite of dark chocolate and crunch of toasted almonds. Finished with a good drizzle of grapefruit icing it added some much-needed zing to a wet and wintery afternoon.
RUBY GRAPEFRUIT LOAF CAKE WITH ALMONDS & BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE (Adapted from this recipe by Not Without Salt)
- 160 g baker's flour
- 75 g almond meal, lightly toasted*
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp bicarb soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 150 g caster sugar
- 125 g natural yoghurt
- 160 ml olive oil
- 3 eggs
- Juice and finely grated zest of 3 small ruby grapefruit
- 60 g flaked almonds, lightly toasted*
- 120 g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
For the icing:
- 150 g pure icing sugar
- Juice and finely grated zest of 1 small ruby grapefruit
For the cake, strain the grapefruit juice into a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until reduced by half (to around 60 ml). Leave to cool.
Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper and preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, yoghurt, olive oil, zest and cooled juice. Combine the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl then add in the wet mixture and stir until well blended. Finally, fold through the chocolate and flaked almonds, and then pour into the prepared pan. Bake at 180°C for 50-60 minutes, until the loaf is a deep, golden brown and springs back when pressed. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the glaze, sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl and stir in the zest and juice of the remaining grapefruit, until it reaches a thick but spreadable consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cake and leave to set, before serving.
** Spread on a baking tray and toast in a 160°C oven for 5-10 minutes, until just starting to colour.