i tend to be a chocolate person. i like my desserts, not so much sweet as intensely flavored. however, after a weekend in LA living a la guy fieri on diners, drive-in and dives, i started inkling for something light and refreshing. found a recipe for a creme fraiche based lemon loaf cake in ph’s book, and thought it would adapt rather nicely into grapefruit muffins. the resulting muffins are light, refreshing with just a hint of that aromatic grapefruit essence that i find so relaxing.
Le Petit Gâteau Au Pamplemousse
(adapted from Pierre Herme’s Lemon Loaf Cakes recipe; note: PH uses rum in his recipe as well as salt to control the rise of the cakes. he also suggests glazing the cakes with a lemon marmelade glaze. he presents the syrup as an optional step for increased lemon intensity.)
|For the Muffins:|
|Cake Flour||2 2/3 cups|
|Baking powder||¾ tsp|
|Grapefruit zest||From 1 large grapefruit|
|Eggs||6 large ones|
|Crème Fraîche||¾ cup|
|Butter||1 stick melted|
|For the Grapefruit Syrup:|
|Grapefruit juice||4 tbsp|
- Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
- Combine sugar and lemon zest in a bowl. Mix together (PH suggests using your hands) until aromatic.
- Add in eggs, and whisk together until pale and foamy.
- Then add creme fraiche. Mix until incorporated.
- Gently stir in the flour in 3 to 4 additions, until you have a smooth and thick batter.
- Finally, fold in the butter until incorporated.
- Pour the batter into regular sized muffin cups lined with a paper muffin cup.
- Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Some of the muffins will have a nice split on top.
- While the muffins are baking, make the syrup by combining sugar and water in a small saucepan. Boil the syrup until the sugar has dissolved. When the syrup cools, add in the grapefruit juice.
- When the muffins are baked, place them on a rack and liberally brush on the syrup.