I love the intersection of internet life and real life. Where online friends become real friends, food becomes more than a pretty picture but rather a meal to share, and someone that you’ve put on a pedestal becomes someone that you share the table with.
This happened for me last month when Gabe and I traveled to NYC to teach a class at the stunning studios of Sunday Suppers. It is Karen Mordechai’s home away from home and it is a cook and photographers dream. It is the sort of space that breeds creativity the moment you step into its massive white expanse.
Karen along with her cheery and talented team crafted the menu all from recipes from, Date Night In. But what I love is that the dinner and menu focused on good home cooking. And I think it reminded even me that the recipes in the book can be so much more than date night fodder.
This cake is one that suites the date night table but also belongs on your plate the next morning with a cup of coffee in hand. It can be dressed up with a touch of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of flake salt as we served it at our dinner in New York or dressed down covered in aluminum foil and enjoyed in the cab on the way to the airport, as I did the next day.
It’s sweet and bitter, scented with fragrant olive oil and capped with a cascading white glaze with flecks of pink grapefruit zest. Similarly to some of the best things in life (wine and people) this cake becomes even more pronounced and dignified with a bit of time. Yesterday’s cake is best enjoyed today.
Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate
SERVES 8 TO 10
from Date Night In
Unsalted butter, for the pan
3⁄4 cup / 180 ml freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, divided
11⁄2 tablespoons freshly grated grapefruit zest, divided
1⁄2 cup / 125 g whole-milk plain yogurt
3 large eggs
2⁄3 cup / 160 ml best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
3⁄4 cup / 150 g granulated sugar
13⁄4 cups / 235 g all-purpose flour
11⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
11⁄4 teaspoons kosher salt
4 ounces / 110 g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
11⁄2 cups / 170 g confectioners’ sugar
Crème fraîche, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
Add 1⁄2 cup / 120 ml grapefruit juice to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce the juice by half. Cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon grapefruit zest, yogurt, eggs, olive oil, and reduced grapefruit juice and whisk to mix well.
In a large bowl, add the granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is well blended. Stir in the chocolate.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the hot oven. Bake until the cake is deeply brown and set and springs back gently when pressed, 50 to 55 minutes.
While the cake bakes, prepare the glaze. In a bowl, combine the remaining 1⁄2 tablespoon grapefruit zest with the remaining 1⁄4 cup / 60 ml grapefruit juice. Gently, in order to prevent a confectioners’ sugar snowstorm, stir in the confectioners’ sugar and continue to stir until well mixed.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.
When cooled to room temperature, place the cake on a serving platter and drizzle with half the glaze. Reserve the rest of the glaze for serving along with the sliced cake. Serve with crème fraîche, if desired. The cake can be made 1 day in advance.