8.05.2011

Winemaker's Grape Cake


I'm sure some of you have one of Patricia Wells' cookbooks. She's a multi-talented woman....chef, journalist, author, teacher....an American who has lived in Paris since 1980. 
She's also on Gourmet's list of 50 Women Game-Changers in food. (Mary from One Perfect Bite  is hosting a group of blogging friends who are working their way down the list. You may not agree with some of Gourmet's choices, but it's a marvelous way to be introduced to chefs you may not be familiar with and try their recipes.)

Off and on throughout  the year, Patricia Wells conducts week-long cooking classes both in her cooking studio in Paris and at her farmhouse in Provence.  And in
 April, Ms. Wells came out with a new cookbook, Salad as a Meal. It sounds fabulous, full of delicious, healthy recipes and I've put it on my wish list. (Did you know she had a weight epiphany at a spa which consequently led to her losing 30 pounds? Read about it HERE.)

I had some champagne grapes left in the fridge so I searched online for a recipe and that's how I discovered The Winemaker's Grape Cake. It seems to have made the blog rounds, but I'd never made it and most of the recipes I found were based on a Patricia Wells recipe. I think you'll like it....in one mouthful you get the sweet tang of the grapes with some lovely citrus undertones. Can you see how moist it is in the photo? We loved it and found it perfect for a light treat in the summer.......with a glass of wine of course!


Patricia Wells' Winemaker's Grape Cake
From Patricia Wells, At Home in Provence


Ingredients:
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of sea salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Grated zest of 1 orange
10 ounces small, fresh purple grapes (I used champagne grapes)
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Method:
Preheat oven to 350°F 
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. 



42 comments:

  1. Yes, I to have made this, although with regular grapes, and was not fond of the results. However, I think champagne grapes might be just the ticket. Very pretty!

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  2. Yum. I love the baked grapes here. The cake sounds fantastic!

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  3. I love this cake Barbara look delicious! gloria

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  4. This little cake looks delicious. I have only bought champagne grapes for decoration on a cheese board. Next time I will know what to do with them. Sounds yummy.

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  5. This does look like the perfect moist light yummy cake!

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  6. Oh your cake is gorgeous.. and it's name?

    Love it too!

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  7. That cake looks fantastic! What an divine treat. Now, I am drooling...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  8. Love this. Very sophisticated cake!

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  9. I can't believe I don't have one of her cookbooks!! I really must remedy that, shouldn't I?

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  10. I keep seeing grape cakes around, and now your recipe! This looks fantastic. Can't wait to make it!

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  11. I love this, this is going into my bookmarks. What beautiful light flavours! I love the use of olive oil too. I'll probably have to use regular grapes though, but I'll look for small ones.
    Have a marvellous weekend!
    *kisses* HH

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  12. I do have one of her cook books "At Home In Provence" but am ashamed to say I've only tried a couple of recipes from it.
    Off to read about her 30 pound weight loss right now, sounds like just the sort of epiphany I need!
    bon weekend
    Maggie

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  13. I have had my eye on these cakes from other chefs as well. I thought they would be perfect for using up Coronation grapes which should be coming soon!

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  14. Your cake is lovely Barbara. The citrus and sweet grapes should be fantastic. Wouldn't you love to go to her cooking school in Provence?

    I have several of her cookbooks. In fact I carried two of her Provence books with me on our trip to France. Someone asked me what I took to Provence, and I said Patricia Wells, and smiled. Her books lead us to some great markets, bistros, and olive oil mills.
    Sam

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  15. What a pretty little cake!

    I'm dying to get Salad as a Meal...sounds right up my alley!

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  16. Interesting. Champagne grapes are one of my favorites, but my sweet tooth has waned (thankfully!)for now...

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  17. This does look like a moist and delicious cake, Barbara, and one that I'd love because there is no frosting on it! I enjoyed reading about Patricia Wells weight loss too.

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  18. I had to smile to myself when I saw the title of this post Barbara. I immediately thought of the episode where Lucille Ball is stomping on the grapes in Italy. (I'm sure it has something to do with today being the day she was born, I believe 100 years ago but don't quote me on that:)

    Anyway, the cake looks and sounds lovely. It isn't often that I have champagne grapes in the fridge but if I ever do, I would love to try it.

    Thank you so much for sharing...

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  19. I love grape focaccia which I seem to remember has something to do with the harvest... lovely recipe this, and I like the citrus element. I haven't seen champagne grapes yet this year... they are good aren't they? So sweet and tiny. I don't think this cake was part of the reason for the weight loss though... 30 pounds... whoa!

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  20. This grape cake looks fantastic! We have just the perfect dessert wine that would go with a cake like this!

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  21. What a lovely and elegant cake! Perfect for summer dinner party!

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  22. This cake looks deliciously good, Barbara! So moist and delicate-Absolutely love that first pic :)

    Hugs,

    Aldy.

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  23. what a great tribute post. i have never baked with grapes before, but now i really want to!

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  24. Oh! I have this book - I've never tried this cake though. It looks so moist!

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  25. Though I'd never heard of Wells before, I actually JUST got that cookbook and can't wait to parse through it! This cake looks delicious...a great way to use up those grapes.

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  26. I'm going to go check out that ephiphany post. She sounds fascinating--of course as an ex-journalist, I'm biased.

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  27. i may be wrong (it's been known to happen), but i don't think i've ever eaten grapes in a cake except in jelly form. this is quite appealing, barbara, and from such a fascinating source--thanks!

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  28. How interesting this cake...olive oil and fresh grapes. The cake look beautiful!

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  29. This is perfect timing, I recently bought a huge bag of champagne grapes! I incorporated some of them into a tarte flambee (which I will be posting within the next couple weeks), but I have quite a bit of grapes left and I've been thinking about what to make with them...I will be giving this a try soon! ;)

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  30. I'll have to check out Patricia Well's cookbook. I'm hoping one of these days that I'll get to meet her. I'm glad to know that she is on Gourmet's list.

    This cake looks absolutely delicious, and it is made even better with delicate champagne grapes.

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  31. What a fabulous grape cake! And the plate is so beautiful too.

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  32. Wow! What an interesting cake! It may have made the rounds of the blogs, but I missed it earlier and am glad I saw your post today! Also nice to see more folks joining Mary's 50 Women Game-Changers blogshare!

    Don't know where I'd get champagne grapes, but I can certainly find purple seedless ...

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  33. This sounds so wonderful...I just want to close my eyes and take a big bite. Instant vineyard transport! Beautiful cake and Wells tribute :D

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  34. This is such a beautiful cake, I think it might be great for breakfast. It does look really moist, and the vanilla bean paste and citrus zests sound like such a great combination.

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  35. Oh, this makes me so hungry for dessert!

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  36. What a delightful cake! Glad to be cooking along with you!

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  37. I actually picked this recipe to make this week. Then decided not to do a dessert. Yours looks so moist and beautiful! Can't wait to try this cake...lovely!

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  38. This cake looks positively delish and I love the name of it too:) I also love her new cookbook "Salad as a Meal." I've made a few recipes from it and am really enjoying it. I look forward to trying this recipe too - thanks so much for sharing:)

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  39. What a great looking cake! Love these little grapes :)

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  40. This does look tasty, and you're right, I've seen this on other blogs, and it always looks really good. What nobody ever wrote about was Patricia Wells and her weigth loss realization. That's pretty interesting.

    I didn't quite understand what you meant about the Gourmet list. Are oyu and your friends reading the authors on the list and making their dishes? That sounds really fun. Can't wait to hear more.

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  41. I love grapes in baked goods. Their skins get so soft that the flesh and juice just burst in your mouth when you take a bite. Definitely going to have to make this divine cake.

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