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Poppy Seed Grapefruit Torte

Fresh flavors and an appealing look enliven this dessert. Dense Campari-infused cake is punctuated with golden raisins and jewel-like grapefruit segments; ribbons of white chocolate mousse topped with a confetti of poppy seeds add a celebratory note.

  • servings: 10
Photography: Dana Gallagher

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Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil, cooking spray
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Ruby Red grapefruit zest plus segments from 2 to 3 Ruby Red grapefruits (wider segments halved lengthwise).
  • 1 tablespoon Campari
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cups poppy seeds, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped golden raisins
  • White Chocolate Mousse

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment paper, and coat parchment. Set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Put butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and the zest into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and smooth, about 3 minutes. Mix in Campari and salt. Mix in egg yolks, 1 at a time, until creamy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

  3. Step 3

    Stir flour, poppy seeds, and raisins in a medium bowl. Stir into butter mixture.

  4. Step 4

    Put egg whites and remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar into the clean bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until stiff but not dry peaks form. Fold into flour mixture. Spread batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula.

  5. Step 5

    Bake until cake is deep golden brown and is pulling away from sides of pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 15 minutes. Remove sides of pan; invert to remove bottom of pan and parchment. Reinvert onto rack; let cool completely (cake will sink slightly in the middle).

  6. Step 6

    Using a long, sharp knife, cut cake horizontally into 3 equal layers. Place bottom layer on a serving platter. Top with half of the zest-flavored mousse. Arrange half of the grapefruit segments in a single layer on top. Top with another cake layer, and repeat layering with remaining zest-flavored mousse and grapefruit segments. Top with final cake layer. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

  7. Step 7

    Spread a thin coat of plain mousse on top and sides of cake. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Spread another coat of mousse on sides until smooth and opaque. Transfer remaining mousse to a pastry bag fitted with a large petal tip (such as Ateco #180); pipe waves in concentric circles on top of cake. If mousse becomes too soft, refrigerate about 30 minutes, then stir until smooth. Sprinkle cake top with poppy seeds. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 2 hours.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, December 2005

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Reviews (6)

  • 8 Apr, 2014

    This is the best cake in my repertoire. It is the one that everyone asks for if I ask them what they want me to make. It is extremely labor intensive, however it is worth it. It is such a wonderful combination: the dense cake, the pop of the poppy seeds, the juicy grapefruit, the sweet (but not too sweet) mousseā€¦ Just make this cake. You will not be disappointed.

  • 20 Dec, 2012

    This was one of the best desserts I've ever made. I wanted to go a little darker, so I substituted blood orange for the grapefruit, dried cranberries for the golden raisins, and dark chocolate for the white chocolate. The dense texture of the cake paired perfectly with the mousse, and the poppy seeds added a surprising little crunch to the cake!

  • 3 Mar, 2012

    Thanks for correcting this recipe.

  • 10 Feb, 2011

    Does anyone at MS Living read these comments ? How about answering the butter quantity question ?

  • 26 Jan, 2011

    Does this cake recipe really call for 10 TEASPOONS of butter ? Not tablespoons ? Has anyone tried it ? I cannot afford to waste all these ingredients on a recipe with errors. Help ! kathy c

  • 21 Jun, 2010

    i made this for my birthday and loved it. though im not much of a grapefruit fan, i think ill try making it again with mandarines or perhaps oranges. i loved the aroma and the contrasting flavours.