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Cake with Wine and Grapes
"Torta al Vino"
(Serve 6 - 8)
Cake with Wine and Grapes
This Italian cake made with grapes and wine is a simple dessert that is a toast to the
grape harvest.  Fresh grapes are embedded in the cake that is also flavored with white
wine and either lemon or orange zest.  It is a dense, rustic cake that you can serve as a
dessert or light breakfast. Serve grapes cake with coffee or a dessert wine.

1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest
3/4 cup white wine
1-1/2 to 2 cups red seedless grapes

Added during baking time:
2 tablespoons butter, in small pieces
1 tablespoon sugar


Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease the inside of a 9-inch springform pan.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and zest.
Beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes until the batter is smooth.
At low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients and the wine. Beat until the batter is well blended and smooth. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pan. Scatter the grapes over the surface of the cake batter. With your finger push some of the grapes into the batter. The grapes don't have to be completely covered; they will sink as the cake rises. Bake for 25 minutes. The top of the cake will be set but the interior will still be wet.

Carefully remove the cake from the oven or pull it to the front of the oven rack. Scatter the butter pieces and tablespoon of sugar over the top. Return the cake to the oven and bake another 15 minutes.The cake should be set and the top golden brown and slightly glazed. Test doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center to see if it comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack.  Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes.

Run a knife around the inside of the side ring. Open the spring and remove the side ring. Let the cake cool completely before serving. Serve with a dusting of confectioners' sugar or garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.
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Cake with Wine and Grapes
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Modern espresso machines have the technological advantage, but there's much to be said for keeping it simple with a stovetop brewer.  While they may not yield a perfect crema, they brew a great espresso.
First introduced in 1933, the Bialetti company says that the Moka resides in 90 percent of Italian households. 

Using it is simple: fill the bottom chamber with water, place ground espresso in the metal filter, screw on the top, and place over medium heat.  Pressurized steam forces boiling water up through the grinds and into theupper chamber.  Your espresso is ready in under 5 minutes.

To beat room temperature butter with sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. The process creates tiny air bubbles in a batter which gives baked goods a lighter texture.
Makes it easy to remove cheesecakes and tarts from the metal pan bases.
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