Over the weekend while out shopping, I ran across a
beautiful bunch of Champagne grapes.
I’ve always loved those little, tiny grapes especially for their
intense, sweet flavor.  I decided to buy a package even though I’ve never really cooked with them but what the heck…it
was time to try something new.  After a
little bit of investigating, I came across this recipe.  It looked just right and let me say, it did
not disappoint.  The cake turned out
fabulous!  It’s dense, flavorful and
makes you really happy when you bite into a slice because the grapes go “pop,
pop, pop” in your mouth!  I just love it
when food does double duty…great tasting and entertaining.  I know, I know, I’m really goofy when it comes to food…
Champagne Grape Cake


2 large eggs, at room temperature


2/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of sea salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
10 ounces small, fresh purple grapes (I used champagne grapes)
Preheat oven to 350°F
Generously butter and flour an 8” spring form pan, tapping out
any excess flour.
Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the eggs and
sugar until thick and lemon-colored, about 3 minutes. Add the butter, oil,
milk, and vanilla extract, and mix well.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add
the lemon zest and toss to coat with flour. Spoon the mixture into the bowl of
batter and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended.  Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the flour
to absorb the liquids.
Stir about 3/4 of the grapes into the batter.  Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan
and smooth out the top with a spatula.
Place the pan in the center of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes,
then, sprinkle the top of the cake with remaining grapes.  Bake until the top is a deep golden brown and
the cake feels quite firm when pressed with a fingertip, about 30-35 minutes
more. Remove to rack to cool. After 10 minutes, run a knife along the sides of
the pan.
Release and remove the side of the spring form pan, leaving the cake on
the pan base. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Serve at room
temperature, cut into thin wedges.