Warm Grape Cake
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for pan, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon, sifted, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1 1/2 cups fresh seedless grapes, stemmed, washed, dried and halved, divided
- 1 cup heavy cream, cold
- 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup honey
- 1 small ginger knob, peeled and grated, about 1 heaping tablespoon
- Special equipment: 1 (9-inch) round springform pan or 1 (9-inch) glass baking dish
This cake is very simple to put together but you have to respect 1 rule: temperature. It is critical that the butter, eggs, milk and olive oil all be at room temperature when you begin making this batter.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using an electric hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until they lighten in color, about 5 to 8 minutes. Slowly beat in the eggs and lemon zest. Sift 1 1/2 cups flour over the bowl and add the baking powder and salt, gently folding to combine. Add in the olive oil and milk, stirring to combine. In a separate bowl, toss the raisins and about 1 cup of the grapes with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sifted flour. Add the fruit to the cake batter and stir only enough to blend.
Thoroughly grease the bottom and sides of the cake pan with some extra softened butter. Pour the batter into the pan and slide it into the center of the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool. Detach the outside of the springform pan, using the bottom as a plate for the cake to finish cooling.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cream, confectioners' sugar and almond extract until soft peaks form. Set the topping aside.
Add the honey to a small saute pan and bring it to a light simmer over low heat. Once it bubbles, thickens and turns light brown after about 2 to 3 minutes, add in the grated ginger and remaining grapes. Switch off the heat and allow the glaze to cool. Serve slices of the cake with some of the grape-ginger mixture spooned over and a dollop of the whipped cream.
Recipe courtesy Alex Guarnaschelli