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Cake with Wine and Grapes
"Torta al Vino"
(Serve 6 - 8)
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 sweet 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 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teapoon salt of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon or orange zest
1 cup sweet white wine
1-1/2 cups red seedless grapes

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


Preheat oven to 400° F. Brush the inside of a 10-inch springform pan with olive oil.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment; bruch the parchment with olive oil.

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

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and oil until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and zest.
Beat on medium just until the batter is smooth.
At low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients alternately with 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.  The grapes don't have to be covered; they will sink as the cake rises. Bake for 20 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 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top. Return the cake to the oven and bake another 15 -20 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 20 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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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.
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Makes it easy to remove cheesecakes and tarts from the metal pan bases.  Wide 10 inch diameter head is big enough for most cakes