Lemon and pink grapefruit syrup cakes with vanilla bean ice-cream


  • Serves 8 people

  • 140 gm butter, softened
  • 160 gm caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, finely grated rind only
  • 3 eggs
  • 290 gm self-raising flour, sieved
  • 200 ml milk
  • For dusting: snow sugar (see note)
  • Vanilla bean ice-cream
  • 600 ml pouring cream
  • 1 litre (4 cups) milk
  • 300 gm caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 7 egg yolks
  • Lemon and pink grapefruit syrup
  • 200 gm caster sugar
  • 150 ml lemon juice
  • 1 lemon and ½ pink grapefruit, rinds thinly removed with a vegetable peeler only
01   For vanilla bean ice-cream, place one third of the cream in a bowl placed over a bowl of ice and set aside. Combine milk, remaining cream, one third of the sugar and vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan, stir over medium-high heat to dissolve sugar and bring just to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar in a heatproof bowl until pale (4-5 minutes). Pour over cream mixture and whisk to combine. Return to pan and cook, stirring continuously until mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon (6-7 minutes). Strain into reserved cream, cool completely, then freeze in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Makes about 1 litre. Will keep frozen in an airtight container for 1 week.
02   For lemon and pink grapefruit syrup, using a small knife, remove as much pith as possible from rinds and discard. Tear rind into thin strips, blanch in boiling water, drain, combine with remaining ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil and cook over high heat until rind is translucent (1-2 minutes). Cool.
03   Preheat oven to 170C. Beat butter, sugar and lemon rind in an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then add flour and milk and beat until smooth. Divide among 8 buttered and floured 1 cup-capacity dariole moulds. Bake until golden and centre springs back when lightly pressed (25-30 minutes). Cool for 10 minutes in moulds, then turn onto a wire rack placed over a tray. Using a skewer, pierce a few holes in tops of cakes. Drizzle with syrup while still warm, dust snow sugar over, decorate with strips of rind and serve immediately with vanilla bean ice-cream.
Note Snow sugar is a mixture of icing sugar and vegetable fats, resulting in an icing sugar that can be used to dust slightly moist cakes without dissolving as quickly as ordinary icing sugar. It is available from select delicatessens. Substitute with icing sugar. For more tips on making ice-cream, see our Expert Advice section.
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