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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Olive Oil Grape Cake

This was the first weekend in many it was cool and rainy, no matter where you seem to be in Ontario.  This weekend I went up to my Mom's trailer with my her, my sister and my niece.   Of course it happened to be cold and rainy the one time I go in the last year and a half.  Despite the weather it was fun, seeing my cousin who owns the park and my mom's best friend who also has a trailer there.   It was a great weekend of catching up and just sitting around and chatting while getting entertained by the random funnies of my 3 year old niece.   We also managed to squeeze in some bingo and a few games of cards.  Next time I go I will just make sure the weather forecast is looking a bit better so I am not bundled up in two sweatshirts. 

Does anyone watch the show "Who do you think you are?"  This show has caused an insurgence of the need to learn about your history and to learn where you came from.  I had started to slowly piece together some data over a year ago and then got sidetracked.   My cousin however has done a lot of digging and showed us some of the data and info she has pulled together.   Some connections are still a bit of a mystery but it was very cool and I feel a new urge to get back into it and help her piece some more historical connections together.   Have you ever tried to figure out your family tree or are you thinking about starting?

I seem to bounce back and forth between a few cookbooks, Bake to Baking by Anna Olson book and my Scientifically Sweet by Christina Marsigliese.  This recipe caught my eye so quickly because it had grapes in it and you don't see that many desserts or cakes with grapes.   At least I haven't it, it just doesn't seem to be a popular baking fruit.  I had to see how it would turn out. 

Olive Oil Grape Cake
(Adapted from Scientifically Sweet)

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 large egg white, room temp
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups red seedless grape, washed, dried and most sliced in half. 
  • 3 oz while chocolate chips - glaze
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream - glaze
1) Preheat oven to 350F.   Spray a 9x5 rectangular loaf plan with non stick spray. 

2) In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cornmeal. Stir together. 

3) In a large bowl or your stand mixer bowl, whisk together eggs and egg white on medium until foamy. Gradually add sugar, increasing the speed to high.  Whisk until volume triples and eggs are pale and light. 

4) In a large measuring cup combine olive oil, milk and lemon zest.  Stir to combine.   Add a third of the flour mixture to the eggs and gently fold in.  Add half of the oil/milk mixture and fold until almost blended.  Repeat with flour mixture, oil mixture ending with the final third of flour. 

5) Place 2/3 of the grapes in a small bowl and toss with 1-2 teaspoons of flour.  Gently fold these grapes into the batter. 

6) Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 12 minutes, the open the oven and place the remaining grapes into the top of the loaf, pressing them in gently.   Close and continue to bake for approx. 30 minutes.  A toothpick will come out clean.   Let cool 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

7) Make the Glaze : Combine white chocolate and cream in a small saucepan.   Heat on low, stirring until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.  Drizzle and pour over the cooled loaf. 

There is definitely a different flavour when you bake with Olive Oil vs. butter. This loaf  is light and refreshing with lots of juicy grape chunks.   The white chocolate glaze is a great accompaniment adding just a touch of sweetness.   I let the glaze soak in at the top for a bit, if you don't want this use less glaze or drizzle right before serving.  


  1. I just love this cake Meg! I will make it soon.
    I'm almost obsessed with my heritage, I've started searching my family tree when I was 14 years old, it's a never ending adventure..
    Have a wonderful week my friend!

  2. I had a roasted grape cheesecake once, but I've never seen grapes used in a cake like this - it sounds delicious!!

  3. Oh this looks so good, great idea to use up some left over grapes. :)


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