Secret Bakery recipe: citrus explosion cake

We started the Secret Bakery, an underground dessert cafe, in the summer of 2011 after being inspired by another secret Providence donations-based restaurant. We held the Secret Bakery one Saturday each month from 8 p.m. to midnight and served between 80 and 130 people each night. The menu changed seasonally but always featured three dessert options and one savory item. Here’s our original recipe for citrus explosion cake.  

Anna Jones ’12 and Sarah Marion ‘12.5 are both biology concentrators from North Carolina.

Grapefruit bar

Ingredients:
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the grapefruit layer:
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (1-2 grapefruits)
1 cup flour

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans.
2. For the crust, cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Combine the flour and salt and add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a ball. Divide the dough into two pieces. Press each piece into the bottom of a greased cake pan. Chill for at least 20 minutes. Bake the crusts for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool.
3. For the grapefruit layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, grapefruit juice and flour. Pour over the crusts and bake for 18-25 minutes until slightly it jiggles slightly in the center but is firm on the outside. Let cool to room temperature.

Lemon chiffon cake

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour   
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar   
1 Tbs. baking powder   
1 tsp. salt   
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 cup olive oil   
6 whole eggs, separated
2 egg whites   
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
1/4 cup water   
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar  

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom of three 8- or 9-inch round cake pans and line each with a parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another large bowl, whisk together oil, egg yolks, lemon juice, water and lemon zest. Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until the batter is smooth.
3. In a clean bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold half the egg whites into the batter until almost combined. Then fold in the remaining egg whites.
4. Divide the batter evenly among the three pans. Bake 12-18 minutes, until a fork inserted comes out clean. Let cool slightly before removing from pans.
 

Citrus cream cheese frosting

Ingredients:
16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Juice from half a lemon
Zest from 2 lemons and 1 orange

Directions:
In a large bowl beat together cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and continue beating until smooth and creamy. Beat in vanilla, lemon juice and zest.

White chocolate mousse

Ingredients:
8 oz white chocolate
2 cups heavy cream

Directions:
Finely chop the white chocolate and place it in a bowl. Bring 2/3 cups of the heavy cream to a boil. Pour over white chocolate and stir until all white chocolate has melted. Whip the remaining 1 1/3 cups of heavy cream until stiff. Fold the white chocolate mixture into the whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.