Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Grapefruit Cake for Breakfast

I will tell anyone who will listen that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I’ll eat eggs or cereal all day long, but the concept of breakfast cake baffles me just a bit. Cake for breakfast? Yes, please. But does it count as breakfast food? 

During the most recent Boston white-out (snow storm that closed down my office for all of one day), I baked what can only be described as a breakfast cake… Or a tea cake… Or an everyday cake. I’m fuzzy on the qualifications of each.

This Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake says breakfast to me because it incorporates a very healthy breakfast-friendly fruit, uses olive oil as the only fat, and uses whole-wheat flour. Delicious AND healthy-ish!

Now, I'd like your honest opinion on not one, but two questions (if you’ll be so kind to indulge me).

1. When is it acceptable to eat cake for breakfast?

a. Only on the weekends 
b. Only when you're a kid
c. When said cake contains either fruit or vegetables
d. When you’re just too tired to make eggs
e. Always. Duh

If you cut to the chase and answered E, kudos – I like your style.

With today’s strong focus on health on eating responsibly, I have to wonder whether the concept of cake for breakfast is or should be socially acceptable.

I spend a lot of time trying to justify how I can claim to be health conscious and eat responsibly, while also maintaining a butter-heavy, sugar-packed baking blog. Which brings me to my next question:

2. Should I have to justify this contradiction of interests?

I consider myself a fairly healthy individual. For the most part, I avoid sugary beverages and processed foods, and I keep a mostly Mediterranean diet (Healthy fats, little meat, plenty of vegetables). I consume a lot of today’s favorite health foods such as quinoa and nut butters made sans transfat. I read labels to avoid crazy chemicals and I make most of my own meals at home with fresh or flash frozen vegetables as the star of every dish.

However, I firmly believe that dessert — enjoyed in moderation — is a very important element of a balanced diet and happy life. I understand the dangers of too much sugar, but one cupcake (or other sweet treat) a day or a few times a week when accompanying an otherwise healthy diet keeps me happy.

What do you think?

So I don’t feel like I’m writing for crickets here, please leave a comment with your thoughts. Fellow food lovers? Friends? Mom? I really want to know!

This Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake is zesty with a great crumb, and the sugar glaze poured over top creates a sweet crust. Whether it's acceptable for breakfast or not... I ate it all day!

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake (Recipe adapted from the Yellow House)
Makes 1 8x8 cake
  • 2 grapefruits – zest of both and juice of one
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 vanilla bean 
  • Splash of milk 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 2/3 cup olive oil 
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x8 pan 
  • Zest both grapefruits into a large bowl, mix in sugar and seeds from vanilla pod, and set aside. Note: to extract seeds from vanilla pod, slice along the length and scrape out seeds with the back of a spoon 
  • In a separate bowl, sift together both flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside 
  • Halve one grapefruit and squeeze juice from both sides into a measuring cup. If it does not reach 2/3 of a cup, add milk to total 2/3 cup of liquid 
  • Add liquid to sugar mixture and mix 
  • Whisk in eggs and olive oil 
  • Gradually whisk in dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated 
  • Pour batter into greased cake pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until center no longer jiggles 

Grapefruit Glaze
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar 
  • 4 teaspoons grapefruit juice (from second grapefruit) 
  • Whisk together brown sugar, powdered sugar and approximately 4 teaspoons of grapefruit juice (from second grapefruit) and pour over cooled cake

So... is this an acceptable breakfast? I can't wait to see what you think!

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