Treat of the Week: Grapefruit Poppyseed Torte with White Chocolate Mousse

Earlier this week, Punxsutawney Phil proclaimed that we would have an early spring.  Either Old Man Winter didn't get the memo or he wanted to get in one last jab.  He is really showing off his skills this week in Dallas.  

February is funny in that way.  It's such a transitional month and is used to honor so many things.  For example, it is National Cherry Month and National Grapefruit Month.  One of our local stores has deemed it citrus month.  I like that idea and also like that so much citrus is available in February.  To me it holds the promise that sunnier days are right around the corner.


Most recipes that you find on this site are created in our kitchen.  True enough, like any cook, we take our inspiration for many from other recipes and make updates or changes to suit our tastes.  Today, however, we used a recipe from an old MS Living magazine.  It is too good to change.  We wanted to use grapefruit in our treat and this is a perfect use.  The tartness of the grapefruit is balanced by the sweetness of the white chocolate mousse.  The poppy seeds add just enough flavor and that subtle crunch that you will just love.  Try this recipe and bring on the spring... even if only in your mind.

savour... life with zest

Get the rest after the jump...

Grapefruit Poppy Seed Torte with White Chocolate Mousse


Before you start:

Wider segments of grapefruit should be cut in half lengthwise to maintain uniform thickness.

Feel free to substitute a different orange flavored liqueur for the Grand Marnier.

Get your ingredients prepared in advance.  Zest two grapefruits.  Separate the eggs.

When adding egg yolks, stop your mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

This cake will sink slightly in the middle.

To make the design on the top, I simply added the mousse and then smoothed it out. Then starting from the outside edge, dip a teaspoon in about halfway and start slowly spinning the cake in a circle.  Do not lift the spoon up and continue in a spiral until you reach the center. 


The ingredients:

For the torte:

  • Cooking oil spray
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar / 280g
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Ruby Red grapefruit zest
  • Segments from 2-3 Ruby Red grapefruits
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 eggs at room temperature, separated
  • ½ cup all purpose flour / 65g
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds / 45g plus more for sprinkling on top
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped golden raisins / 45g

For the mousse:

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 3 ¾ cups heavy cream
  • 18 ounces white chocolate / 510g , finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Ruby Red grapefruit zest

The method:

For the torte:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Coat 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray.
  3. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  4. Spray parchment paper with cooking spray.
  5. Put butter, 1 ¼ cups of the sugar, and zest into a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until pale and smooth (about 3 minutes).
  6. Add Grand Marnier and salt.  Mix until incorporated.
  7. Mix in egg yolks, one at a time, until smooth and creamy.
  8. Stir flour, poppy seeds, and raisins together in a separate bowl.
  9. Add flour poppy seeds, and raisins to butter/yolk mixture.  Set aside.
  10. Put egg whites and remaining sugar in a clean bowl and mix with whisk attachment on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
  11. Fold into batter.
  12. Spread batter into springform pan smoothing out the top with an offset spatula.
  13. Bake until deep golden brown (about 35 min).  The cake will be pulling away from the sides of the pan.
  14. Allow cooling on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  15. Invert and remove pan and parchment from the bottom.  Invert again to continue cooling on wire rack until completely cool.
  16. With a long, sharp knife, cut the cake into three equal layers.
  17. Assemble the finished cake by placing one layer of cake on your serving tray.  Add half of the grapefruit flavored mousse and smooth out over the cake.
  18. Add a single layer of grapefruit segments.
  19. Add the next layer of cake and another layer of grapefruit flavored mousse and grapefruit segments.
  20. Add the top layer and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  21. Spread a thin coat (crumb coat) of mousse over the entire cake and return to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.
  22. Spread coat of mousse around the sides until smooth and opaque.
  23. Put remaining mousse on top and add finishing touches.
  24. Sprinkle with poppyseeds.
  25. Refrigerate until ready to serve (best within 3 hours).

For the mousse:

  1. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup of water.  Let soften for 5 minutes.
  2. Bring 1 ¼ cups of cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add gelatin to the heated cream and stir until dissolved.
  4. Put chocolate into the bowl of a food processor.
  5. With the processor running, the hot cream mixture in a slow, steady stream.  Process until smooth.
  6. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Stir until smooth.
  8. Whisk remaining 2 ½ cups of cream to nearly stiff peak stage.
  9. Gently fold into chocolate mixture.
  10. Transfer 2 ½ cups of mousse to another bowl and add zest.
  11. Refrigerate mousse, covered, until ready to assemble.
  12. Stir until smooth before using.