Since I made my last tart, I’ve been thinking about another recipe using champagne grapes. I was fascinated with their flavor and I should try now a sweet recipe. So, searching on the internet, I came across this grape cake from the book Patricia Wells at Home in Provence that I found on Moveable Feasts blog.
My husband and I really loved this cake. The champagne grapes tasted like raisins, but more juicy. This recipe also uses half butter and half olive oil, which gave to the cake a pleasant and moist texture. For a pretty finish, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar and you will have a nice cake for your coffee or tea time.
Champagne Grape Cake
Butter and flour for preparing the cake pan
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (135 g) sugar
4 tablespoons (2 ounces; 60 g) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup (6 cl) extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup (8 cl) whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (200 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of sea salt
Grated zest (yellow peel) of 1 lemon
Grated zest (orange peel) of 1 orange
10 ounces (300 g) small, fresh purple grapes (see above for varieties)
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C; gas mark 4/5).
Generously butter and flour the springform pan, tapping out any excess flour. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the eggs and sugar until thick and lemon-colored, about 3 minutes. Add the butter, oil, milk, and vanilla extract, and mix until blended.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the lemon zest and orange zest, and toss to coat the zest with flour. Spoon the mixture into the bowl of batter and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix once more. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquids.
Stir about 3/4 of the grapes into the batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Place the pan in the center of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then sprinkle the top of the cake with remaining grapes. Bake until the top is a deep golden brown and the cake feels quite firm when pressed with a fingertip, about 40 minutes more, for a total baking time of 55 minutes. Remove to rack to cool. After 10 minutes, run a knife along the sides of the pan. Release and remove the side of the springform pan, leaving the cake on the pan base. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Serve at room temperature, cut into thin wedges.