11 January 2012

harvest cake with grapes and sangiovese syrup


Harvest Cake with Grapes and Sangiovese Syrup

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup milk (I used almond)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (Earth's Balance)
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Finely grated zest of 1 small orange
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups seedless red grapes
1 quart unsweetened grape juice
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the salt and baking powder. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the granulated sugar until pale yellow. Whisk in the milk, olive oil, melted butter, lemon zest, orange zest and vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture, followed by 1 1/2 cups of the grapes. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake for 15 minutes. Dot the top of the cake with the remaining 1/2 cup of grapes and bake for about 40 minutes longer, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack, carefully remove the ring and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, boil the grape juice over high heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 25 minutes. Let the grape syrup cool to room temperature.
Remove the cake from the base and transfer to a serving platter. Dust the top with confectioners' sugar. Cut the cake into wedges and serve, passing the grape syrup at the table.

MAKE AHEAD The grape syrup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve the syrup chilled or at room temperature.

I do have a confession to make...I ruined the syrup not ONCE but TWO times. I have made a simple reduction plenty of times and I should know better by now than to step away from your syrup. The first time I became distracted with the kids and my syrup became a candied carmel. The second time around I was in deep conversation with friends and smoked us out of the kitchen with my burnt mess. Thank goodness I married a man who can cook. He made a simple sauce with a little sparkling grape juice that was hidden in the refrigerator and fresh blackberries.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It's easy to make vegan or keep it vegetarian.
And don't forget, keep your eyes on your syrup and bon app├ętit!

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