[Ed: I was going through my Drafts folder and found this one. Sure, it’s a bit light on the photographs, but you get the idea. So here’s something to get your party-for-two started. Enjoy!]
No, I did not give up eating for more than a year. My lenten fast from baking just got out of hand. These days, I fall back on quick eats that aren’t fun to write about. Also, my hot cereal options are pretty boring. I mean, it’s hard to screw up quinoa flakes. My alternate is buckwheat grits, and those are pretty fool proof, too.
So I decided to share my new favorite microwave cake.
First, don’t be afraid of that whole low carb thing. This is a fantastically tasty dish. Second, don’t think it’s too high falutin for you. They don’t NEED to be Meyer Lemons. I mean, it helps, but it’s not critical. Heck, my first time with this recipe, I didn’t have no stinkin’ lemons. At all. Not even one. And, stuck without a car, I had to search my pantry for something that would work. Turns out, I had one lovely Ruby Red Texas Grapefruit. These things are DELICIOUS all on their own. But I thought, “Why doesn’t anybody make grapefruit cake?”
Please Rachel, don’t kill me, but I’m going to reproduce the original recipe here, just for reference.
MEYER LEMON MUG CAKE
- ¾ cup almond flour
- 2 tbsp erythritol
- Zest of one Meyer Lemon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch salt
- Juice of one Meyer Lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream for garnish
- In a medium bowl, whisk almond flour, erythritol, lemon zest, baking powder and salt.
- Add lemon juice, melted butter and egg, and stir until well combined.
- Divide mixture between two microwave-safe mugs and microwave each separately for 1 minute and 20 seconds.
- Remove and top with whipped cream.
For this particular recipe, I start with a fresh grapefruit instead of lemons, because, why would you do anything else?
First step– I stripped the thing of it’s rind. I took all of it. Yes, I’m crazy that way. Next step, I had to find out how much juice 1 whole lemon gives you. Grapefruits and lemons are in no way equivalent– size wise any way. So I looked it up and discovered that the average lemon exudes two tablespoons of juice. I wrote that down and continued in my quest.
Also, if the recipe lists quantity it by fruit, then obviously the amount is a bit flexible. As for Mr. Grapefruit, he wasn’t the size of a tomello, but close. This big monster gave me 2 tbs of grapefruit zest. Thus I dubbed the rather naked looking fruit “Mt. Baldy”. But I also needed juice. 2 whole tablespoons, as per my research.
Next question:How do you juice a grapefruit? It’s actually harder than you think.
Part of the reason why most store bought Grapefruit Juice sucks, is because they squeeze it like an orange. If you treat a grapefruit like an orange, you get a massive bitterness many grapefruit fans don’t like. It is a part of the fruit’s piquant personality, but we don’t want too much, right? I decided to get away from the bitter pith as much as possible. This cake was going to be sweet indulgence.
So I… peeled the grapefruit. This can be tough to get started, as the peel is thick, and even more spongy than my nemesis, the Navel Orange. But, once you get your fingers into that teeny little air gap between the pith and the petals of juicy wonderfulness, you are home free. The picture above shows it well. Here, it’s a bit off center.
You can find it on the end that’s pointier, underneath the bud end dead center. From the other side, it’s just above the ends of the fruit sections. So you are in effect, pulling out the bud end from between the section cluster. Once you do that, can peel the skin away from the sections with impunity. Start removing the skin and pith with the convenient pull tab you created earlier. Make sure all the pith is removed. It sometimes comes off in layers. Try not to squeeze the spongy pith too much– or at least, don’t let it drip where you will put your juice! When done, you wind up with about 12 big fleshy sections, that are pinkish and plump with juice.
Er… now what? How do you juice a section?
Get a spoon. Get a sieve. The right shape of a wooden spoon, sort of wide and shallow curved, is ideal. Non metal would be better, because it’s easier on the sieve. Note: I did not use a non-metallic spoon, and I did not die. But it was a relatively wide and flat sort of spoon, so the curve did not cut against the curve of the mesh in the sieve. Also, bigger means you can crush more at once and don’t have to work forever squishing grapefruit fronds.
Step two in juicing a section- mush the bits of grapefruit flesh against the sieve wall, squeezing out all the juice. It’s a more gruesome version of massage therapy. This fruit was mighty juicy. There were a few seeds, but they were easy to dump off into a separate bowl. You want to do that because they are slippery and can jump into your juice catching bowl, while you coax out as much juice as you possibly can. Now rescue a few bits of that nice pulp, if you desire. I love everything grapefruity so I put some in. Just make sure you don’t get any pith or even section skin into the mix. That is where the bitter resides.
So I measured 2 tbs (and maybe a drip or two more) of grapefruit juice, which turned out to be about 1.5 sections on my buddha belly sized grapefruit.
From here on out, you can just follow the recipe. And lo, you have… not just one, but TWO grapefruit cakes! They were so delicious I ate both of them without remembering to photograph the results. That happens a lot with this recipe.
Next time, I might want to make a meringue and torch it in place, to give it a “Baked Alaska” sort of look. This time, I just melted some coconut butter and made a sauce in lieu of whipped cream. If you really want dairy free whipped cream, you can freeze a can of coconut milk for a few hours to overnight, then whip the solid parts with a mixer or stick blender. That’s a bit more work and forethought than I usually do when making this recipe.
The only reason why people don’t make grapefruit cake is because they don’t know how awesome it is!
EDIT: I also made this with a regular lemon just recently. I ran out of Erythro sweetener, so I subbed in coconut sugar, the kind that looks like brown sugar. It did not blend the best– it had freckles. Husband, who is a normal person, and likes normal cake, thought it was delicious, if a tad under sweetened.
Because I can leave nothing alone, my latest experiment was adding one packet of Real Lemon to the lemon recipe. I am sure it would have been just fine without. My inner lemon head would not be denied.
Further note: yes, you can use coconut fat to replace the butter. If you must do that, I suggest adding at least a pinch of salt, some vanilla or butter flavor to make up the lack. Butter adds something fantastic that’s difficult to put your finger on. I used Kerrygold butter in this recipe. That made a difference– even from regular butter. It added more yellow color, and extra richness in both flavor and texture.