I’m always learning,
Sometimes just by observing what’s around me.
Trees, much like people, have branches that grow apart, in opposite directions, in different shapes, sprouting new branches. Yet they remain deeply rooted together at their foundation. Realizing they need each other in order to continue to grow and soar to new heights above the other surrounding trees in the forest.
People, unlike trees, don’t seem to always think this way..
I’m always learning, what has tried to demolish me has only polished me into what I am today. So much so that negativity, bad vibes, and disappointing people, roll off of my skin like the rain rolls down the bricks on the side of my mother’s house. Nourishing the grass and soil underneath my feet, which just serves as a vehicle to propel me to new heights. So to them I turn around in all my splendor and simply say thank you as I go about my way.
I’m always learning, what my mother means when she says her pain is now my pain. The burdens she carried, the heavy load she waded through with bare feet and strong arms, the fight she inherited by way of her skin color, from my grandmother, great grand mother and many mothers before that.
Is now mine.
Even though years have passed, times have changed, the world still sounds the same. Too many of my experiences are the same as theirs were.
I’m always learning that even some of the most bitter experiences or maybe even fruits can be turned around and made sweet. Sometimes by just incorporating the bitter into that which is bright.
Like sugar and butter, a few eggs and cream cheese.
*When I was feeling out of sorts over the past few weeks my neighbor brought me a basket full of grapefruit. It was really very sweet and all I could think of was my cousin who eats her grapefruit with about 16 spoons of sugar sprinkled on top. I think she’d appreciate this cake more than anyone.*
Grapefruit Sugar Pound Cake
Prep Time- 25 mins Cook Time- 1 hr Yield- 12-14 servings
*The fruit sugar method I adapted from Ian Gartern’s lemon curd. I’ve used this with my lemon cakes and it makes the flavor come alive*
*This is a basic cream cheese pound cake, an old school recipe, that’s elevated with the addition of grapefruit.*
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
One large grapefruit
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
6 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
6 oz cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
¼ cup canola oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup buttermilk
For the icing:
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 ½ powdered sugar
1/3 cup of fresh grapefruit juice
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325°
Prepare your pan: For bundt pans I use a pastry brush (its silicone) and apply lots of butter to every nook and cranny then flour making sure the flour sticks everywhere. This gives me the best success with making sure the cake will come out cleanly and we don’t end up eating cake out of an upturned bundt pan. That’s not a good look. I’ve seen my aunt coat the pan with sugar or cocoa for chocolate cakes.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of one grapefruit. Put the zest in a food processor with 2/3 of the sugar and pulse until the zest is finely minced in with the sugar.
Place the butter, cream cheese and both the 1 cup of sugar and the grapefruit sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Be sure to scrap bowl down the sides using a spatula to make sure to incorporate all the ingredients. Beat in oil and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture and the milk alternately to the batter, starting and ending with the flour. Be sure to scrap bowl down the sides using a spatula to make sure to incorporate all the ingredients.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake at 325° for one hour or until wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, (I like the give the pan a little shake from side to side to make sure it loosens) then invert on to your desired cake plate or stand.
For the frosting:
Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar for several minutes, until light and creamy. Add the grapefruit juice and vanilla and beat until combined. Drizzle or pour the icing over the top of the cooled cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.
Sprinkle the top with grapefruit zest if desired.