Friday, August 1, 2008

Beaumes-De-Venise Cake With Grapes

I was recently searching for a dessert to bring along to a family party up in the Napa wine country when I remembered a very interesting cake recipe that I’d made long ago that seemed to have all of the right ingredients. I dug it out and instantly realized this would be the perfect choice because the cake has as its principle ingredients the lovely Beaumes-de-Venise Muscat wine and red grapes. And it’s incredibly good, so I knew it would be perfect for our vineyard setting.

Beaumes de Venise is considered the best of Muscat wines. It has a very distinctive flavor and aroma that is very floral and a bit musky with strong notes of honey. It pairs very well with peaches, melon or fresh figs. It's also a nice contrast with lots of different cheeses.

The cake is super moist, as cakes should be. The olive oil really adds to its sumptuousness in both flavor and texture. The citrus zest brings everything into focus and the grapes remind us where it all began.

I really encourage you to try this wonderful pastry. It’s just the thing to bake when you’re looking for something very different and very delicious.

Bench notes:
- I used a Beaulieu Beaumes de Venise and I thought it was perfect. However, this time I decided to add a bit less and include a bit of water. So I measured out 3/4 C Muscat and added 1/4 C water. I really liked this best as it tempers the flavor of the Muscat just perfectly. But either way, it’s good.
- I love Spanish olive oil, so I used that. It's slightly more refined yet a bit bolder and I love how it tastes in baked goods.
- My oven runs hot, so my cake was done in about 35 minutes. Check your oven temperature and adjust accordingly.
- This cake will keep nicely at room temperature kept in an airtight container or plastic wrap.

Beaumes-De-Venise Cake With Grapes
adapted from Bon Appétit
Serves 8 to 10

1 1/2 C flour
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
3/4 C sugar
3 oz (6 T) butter @ room temperature
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 C Beaumes-de-Venise or other good quality Muscat wine
1 1/2 C red seedless grapes

Olive oil for preparing cake pan

1 oz (2 T) butter @ room temperature, cut into small pieces
2 T sugar

Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush 10” springform pan with olive oil. Line with parchment and brush parchment with olive oil.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda together.
Beat 6 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons oil together until smooth.
Add 3/4 cup sugar and beat until thoroughly mixed.

Whisk in eggs, one at a time until blended.
Add citrus zest and vanilla.
Add flour mixture alternately with Muscat in 3 additions each, starting and ending with flour. Stir just until smooth after each addition. Be careful not to overmix.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.
Press grapes lightly into the batter.
Bake cake until the top is set, about 20 minutes.
Open the oven door and dot the top of cake with 2 tablespoons of butter and then sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over the surface of the cake.
Continuing baking until the cake is a beautiful golden color and a tester placed into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes longer.
Cool in the pan on a rack for about 20 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edges of the cake and release the sides of the springform pan. Cool.


Victoria said...

This looks wonderful; truly wonderful. If there is a more beautiful site, I have never seen it. :pastry studio is delicious.

Heather said...

i have never thought about grapes in a cake... this looks thoroughly beautiful and delicious, though! The crust looks heavenly.

Alexa said...

Wow, I loved looking at your pictures and reading your post. I made that exact cake years ago for a dinner celebrating my brother-in-law's birthday. We sat at dessert in silence, unable to speak: it was so good!

Zoe Francois said...

This looks lovely and sounds delicious!

liz song mandell said...

i love looking at your updates because the first response i always have is... "holy moly that looks delicious!!"

this post was no different. wow, i want a slice right about now.

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

i can always count on you for seasonal ingredients. lovely once again!

Helene said...

You had me at Beaumes de Venise! Love the cake, it looks delicious!

pastry studio said...

alexa, thanks for agreeing with me! And thanks to everyone who joined me in ogling this great cake. I hope you have the chance to try it sometime. You will definitely win friends!

Y said...

I love beaumes de venise - usually as a baked custard, but this cake sounds very special also!

Anonymous said...


I'm Alisha from Wowzio, and I'm excited to tell you about our new widget platform that helps bloggers increase readership and create more engaged users. I wanted to reach out to you to ask for your feedback on these widgets (feel free to also install them on your blog, if you feel they are a good fit). You can check out widgets customized for your blog here:

Wowzio Widgets for your blog

I'm sorry for leaving this message via a comment, it's not at all our intent to spam you ( which is why i'm leaving this comment on an older post and you can always remove this comment ). Again, we would love to hear your feedback.

Alisha Wright

Alicia Foodycat said...

What a beautiful cake! I have a bottle of beaumes-de-venise in the cellar somewhere. Must dig it out!

Kat Black (splat) said...

This is absolutely delicious, I just made it, never made it before, never tasted (delicious) Muscat before. What a fabulous cake, light and slightly scented with the olive oil. The grapes are perfectly cooked, and I LOVE the crispy crust. I am eating it warm with a dollop of double cream right now. Fabulous! I bet its as delicious cold as it is warm.

pastry studio said...

Kat Black, wonderful that you discovered Muscat and this delicious cake! Enjoy every single morsel. Cheers!