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The old saying is that “when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade”, but what do you do when life gives you grapefruits.  Linda, one of my co-workers has a pink grapefruit tree in her yard at home.  For the past two weeks she has been bringing them into the office and sharing them with us.  I have also been the lucky recipient of two big bags all for me!  Okay, I do share them with my wife and children.   I love to just peel them and eat the sections like you would an orange.  These are extra juicy and surprisingly sweet for grapefruit.  Still, a man can only eat so many grapefruits.  Then I remembered a great grapefruit cake I had a few years back at the Brown Derby Restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  I found the recipe on a Disney Food Blog, http://www.disneyfoodblog.com, and thought I would give it a try.  The alleged story behind this cake involves one of Hollywoods famous gossip colominist, Louela Parson.  The story goes that Ms. Parsons complained to the Derby owner, Robert Cobb (As in Cobb Salad!), that all the desserts were too fattening and she requested something healthier.  Cobb told his chef “to put grapefruit on something, because everyone knows its slimming.”

I have doubled the recipe because the cake I remember having at the Brown Derby had more layers.

Grapefruit Cake

Ingredients:

3 Cups Sifted Cake Flour

1 1/2 Cups Suger

3 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Cup Water

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

6 Eggs (Separated)

6 Tablespoons Grapefruit Juice

1 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Rind

1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into the mixing bowl.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  Add water, oil, egg yolks, grapefruit juice (I used fresh squeezed.), and the lemon rind.  Beat until smooth.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until whites are stiff.  Fold the egg whites into the batter.  Pour the batter into two greased and floured 9″ round cake pans.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  Invert the pans on cake racks until cool.  Run a spatula around the edge of the cake pans and carefully remove them from the pan.  With a serrated knife, gently cut each layer in half.

Grapefruit Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

3 Eight-Ounce Packages of Cream Cheese

4 Teaspoons Lemon Juice

2 Teaspoons Grated Lemon Rind

1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar (Sifted)

3 -4 Grapefruits (Sectioned)*

Let the cream cheese soften at room temperature.  Beat the cheese until fluffy.  Add lemon juice and rind.  Gradually blend in sugar.  Beat until well blended.  Crush several grapefruit sections to measure 4 teaspoons.  Blend into the frosting.  Spread the frosting on the first layer.  Top with the grapefruit sections of one grapefruit. Repeat for the next two layers.  Frost the top and sides.  Garnish with remaining grapefruit sections.

I have to say I really enjoyed this cake.  I has a light citrus flavor and is not overpowered by the taste of the grapefruit. The cream cheese frosting has the same slight citrus flavor and is not overly sweet.  I was impressed with the fact I had frosting to spare.  My experience has been you never make enough frosting and have to make another batch to finish the cake.   If you can resist, this is one of those cakes that gets better if it sits a day.  It seems the extra time allows the grapefruit juices to better permeate the cake.  The next time I make this I am thinking of making a few changes to the recipe.  First, I might try a simple syrup made with grapefruit juice to drizzle on the cake layers for extra moisture.  Second, I think I would put a little more sugar into the cream cheese frosting since I like my frosting a little sweeter.  Finally, I think I would suggest breaking up the pulp on the sections and spreading it more evenly over each layer versus just spreading out sections.  I noticed if you got a larger section of grapefruit in your slice it can overpower the taste in that bite.

*The original recipe calls for 2 One-Pound cans of Grapefruit Section, drained, but I used fresh ones.  I had never sectioned a grapefruit before and was surprised how easy it was too do.  First, you slice off the top and bottom until you reach the flesh.  Then you cut the peel from the sides.  Holding the grapefruit in your hand you cut the pulp out from between each membrane.  It was a lot simpiler then I imagined.

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