Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sultana grape cake

One of Australia's greatest cooks is Maggie Beer, co-star of The Cook and The Chef, and producer of her own range of food products.  For some time, I have owned one of Maggie's cookbooks, Maggie's Kitchen, and I have been eyeing up her Sultana Grape Cake ever since then.

The Sultana Grape Cake contains 3 cups of sultana (green) grapes and the zest of 4 lemons, which combine to produce a fresh, fruity cake.  Maggie also made this cake on The Cook and The Chef. The recipe was inspired by a recipe in a cookbook that Maggie had called Riches from the Vine.

The top of the cake is supposed to have grapes on it - unfortunately, mine all resolutely sank into the cake.  No matter - I still think it is quite handsome, don't you?

I absolutely adored this cake.  Not only is it fresh and fruity, it is light and fluffy, and compared with many cakes, contains a minimal amount of fat from butter and oil.  I would make this cake again in a heartbeat - it's a shame that it is only possible during grape season.

To make this cake, you will need:

3 eggs
150g sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
60g melted butter
75ml milk
200g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
finely grated zest of 4 lemons
large pinch ground nutmeg
500g fresh seedless green grapes
1 tablespoon demerara sugar
icing sugar for dusting (if desired)

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Grease and line a 20cm round springform pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until pale and thick.  Add the oil, milk and butter and mix well.

In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder, and stir in the lemon zest and nutmeg.

Dump the flour mixture into the egg mixture and fold in until just combined.  Fold through two third of the grapes. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven and sprinkle with the rest of the grapes and the demerara sugar.  Return the cake to the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through.

Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust the cooled cake with icing sugar (if desired) before serving.  


Finla said...

Wowo with fresh grapes, i have never baked aything with fresh grabpes and i agree with you even though the grapes have sunken the cake looks yumm.

Beth said...

Grapes are something that I have never cooked with, but this cake sounds wonderful. It looks beautiful both in your photo and Maggie's with the grapes on top.

Elaine said...

I have never made a grape cake before - this looks so moist and delicious!

Anonymous said...

I've never baked with grapes, but this sounds good!

Ivy said...

Gaye, I don't think that the grapes can stay on top after only 15 minutes of baking. I think that she may added some just before it was baked. With or without grapes on the top it sounds delicious and you just reminded me that during the summer I made some muffins with grapes, which I never posted.

Anonymous said...

I love green grapes! I'm definitely trying this recipe. Your cake turned out very good! By the way, I've awarded you a "Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!" Congrats!

Hazel - Chicken in a Cherry Sauce said...

How interesting using fresh grapes! I agree with Happy Cook - still looks very appetising despite the grapes sinking!

cocoa and coconut said...

Sultanas/grapes are one of life's pleasures as far as I'm concerned. I like Maggie's recipes but I haven't seen this one before.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I thought at first that it would look like a fruit cake but it looks more butter cake than fruit cake! :)

Johanna GGG said...

mmm have had cakes with grapes and they are lovely - this ones looks lovely even if the grapes aren't on top