The other day, Julia, from https://retirementrvdream.com/ dropped off a TON of grapes from her garden. We estimated there were about 13 lbs of grapes, and that was only 1 portion of them. What am going to do with all these grapes??????
I am actually putting them to very good use. I made some grape jelly with a whole bunch of them, but more on that later. I also made a grape and olive oil cake that I took with me to my Thursday night meeting. It was a huge hit, and the plate came home empty. That’s just the way I like it too.
I didn’t realize the grapes had seeds in them, and just put them into the cake batter, seeds and all. When I realized it, I told everyone to watch out for them, but we all decided they weren’t so bad, and they added a bit of texture to the cake, just like chopped nuts would do. Live and learn I guess.
Olive oil is the one thing in my kitchen I could NEVER be without. I use it for everything, including cakes and desserts. The olive oil cake is a typical dessert of the Spanish confectionery. The origin of the olive oil cakes is unknown but the pastry studies point to Arab, Jewish or Mozarabic recipes from the southern half of the Iberian peninsula, and from there it traveled into the rest of the Mediterranean countries as well. This particular cake I made was an Italian recipe. Like most of my favorite recipes, it is made from simple, everyday items that we all keep on hand at all times.
Italian Grape and Olive Oil Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup + 1 TPSP sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 TBSP melted butter
2 tsp orange or lemon zest
1 tsp orange or lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups seeded grapes
powdered sugar for dusting
The technique for making this cake is just how you would make any other cake. Mix all the dry ingredients together first and set aside, them mix in the eggs, sugar, butter and oil, then combine it all together and mix just until everything is incorporated together. You do not want to over mix or the cake will be tough.
Mix the eggs with the sugar and blend until light and fluffy. Then add the milk, olive oil, butter and lemon or orange extracts and zest. I used orange this time around. You can also use both if your prefer, to give your cake a real citrusy flavor.
Spray a 9 inch cake pan with cooking spray and lightly flour the sides.
Preheat the oven to 350* F or 180* C.
Once your batter is made, gently fold in the grapes, then evenly spread the batter into the prepared cake pan.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the cake is lightly golden in color and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
Allow the cake to cool completely before dusting it with powdered sugar, and then it is time to enjoy! !Buon Appetito! This is a great light dessert or just something to serve with a gathering of friends or family. It is not overly sweet, but just sweet enough to satisfy that sweet tooth and those sweet cravings. Because it has so many grapes and olive oil, it is also a healthier version of cake to eat as well.
Always make room for dessert, especially when you are with friends or family.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.