Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grape Tea-Cake

Wow, 1 month flew past. Particularly fast as we've spent 18 days on one of the most beautiful trips in our lives. Austria's beauty is beyond description and Germany was warm & friendly with its nature just as grandiose. Italy was full of people & smoke but its food is fantastic! Back for less than 1 week and I'm missing the delicious breakfasts, especially the home-baked cakes and bread served by the fabulous ladies of our B&Bs. The steps are easy but to achieve the sweetness of those cakes, you have to have access to the fresh berries of their farms, ripened and picked just before baking. They are full of homemade goodness and the crust is so crumbly and light, with their organic flour and fresh, white, creamy butter.

Inspired by an Italian cooking book at the library, I set out to make this simple tea-cake with just a few ingredients. However, we are back in SG, where organic (especially berries) is often above affordable in everyday use and I've never seen white-coloured butter in the various brands used previously.. so off to the bake with what I could find from FairPrice!

Recipe list:
150g plain flour (I will try using cake flour next time)
75g almond meal (Sub with plain/cake flour if not available)
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
120g brown sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons olive oil
450g washed grapes

Pre-heat Oven to 180C and grease pan well. (I used the new sunflower silicon ware just bought in Bologna for only 5 euros - love!)


1. Mix flour, almond, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and toss thoroughly.
2. Add eggs 1 at a time and beat to incorporate until it forms a batter.
3. Add olive oil and swirl it into the batter.
4. Toss the grapes in some flour and add into the mix.
5. Pour into pan and bake 8-in pan at 35 min and cupcakes at 20min.
Cool and dust with icing sugar

Cake was pretty crumbly however, a tad dry. I baked the cupcakes at 20 minutes since my cupcake cups are very big, may probably have to reduce to 15 to 18 minutes. The grapes compensated for the dryness though as they will squirt with their sweet juices when bitten. 450g of grapes is a lot for the amount of batter, every bite will yield 1-2 grapes. Pretty good!

Will try this again with reduced time, change of flour and perhaps a tad more sugar if the choice of fruit is not sufficiently sweet. Am loving the tray!