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Grape Cake, Really!

One of my clients had a bunch of grapes leftover when her granddaughter was visiting and gave them to me. I had the perfect use for them. Grape cake. I had made this cake once before for a small supper club when the theme was French. It sounds odd but the cake tastes really great. the grapes soften and taste a little bit like cherries. It’s not too sweet (unless you serve it with a bunch of whipped cream) and is pretty fast and easy to make. Here’s the recipe:

Gâteau de BeaumesdeVenise aux Raisins (BeaumesdeVenise Cake with Grapes)

This is a recipe from the Bon Appétit Provence special edition. It is a very happy dessert. The grapes sink into the batter while it cooks. BeaumesdeVenise is a town in the Vaucluse that produces Muscat wine. I have used domestic Muscat which is actually a nice, fruity dessert wine.

  1. Olive oil
  2. 1-1/2 cups flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  7. 6 T + 2 T butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  8. 3 tablespoons olive oil, not just vegetable oil.
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  11. 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  12. 1 teaspoon vanilla1 cup BeaumesdeVenise or other Muscat wine
  13. 1-1/2 cups red seedless grapes

Preheat the oven to 400°. Brush a 10 inch diameter springform pan with olive oil. Line the bottom with parchment and brush the parchment with olive oil. (using the cooking spray works just fine) Sift the flour and the next 3 ingredients into a bowl. Whisk 3/4 cup sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, and 3 tablespoons of oil in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, both peels, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with wine in 3 additions each, whisking just until smooth after each addition. Transfer batter to the prepared pan. Smooth the top and sprinkle the grapes over the batter. Bake the cake until the top is set, about 20 minutes. Dot the top of the cake with 2 tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over top. Bake until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 20 more minutes. cool in pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Release the pan sides and serve warm or at room temperature.

The last time I made it, I increased the zest by double which was great as well as used way more grapes (I had all those grapes to use up). I packed the top with as many grapes as would fit. The other thing was I didn’t have any muscat wine on hand so I used a combination of alcohol: grand marnier, crown royal, white wine and water. It still tasted great although a little boozy because of the higher alcohol content of the Grand Marnier and the Crown Royal. The grand marnier had the sweetness for the muscat. So i think any sweet fortified wine would probably work that didn’t have too much alcohol in it. I haven’t tried it with a non alcohol fruit juice so don’t know how that would be but I am sure some tart fruit juice would work – maybe a combo of orange and apple?


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