Category Archives: Recipes
Wine Soaked Grape Cake is from Sharon O’Connor’s Wine Tasting recipe box, “Small Plates for Wine.”
I made a couple of changes that I will note in the recipe. How did it taste? Good. I think the Marsala from California I had on hand was a little strong—a sweeter dessert wine with lower alcohol content might be a better choice next time. Maybe a fruit wine from Palisade’s Carlson Vineyards or a mead (honey wine) from Meadery of the Rockies.
This cake would be a great choice for a wine tasting party, perhaps paired with the same dessert wine used in the recipe. Hot coffee or tea for a brunch is another good option.
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour (I used 1 ½ cup + 1 tbsp. of sifted high altitude flour and sifted dry ingredients again)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter (softened)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. grated orange zest (Not a fan of such a strong orange flavor so I used 1 tsp. each orange and lemon zest)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup dessert wine
- 1 ½ cup seedless red grapes (I increased to 2 cups)
- Turbinado sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Combine dry ingredients in one bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt.
Combine wet ingredients in a second bowl: beaten eggs, zest, vanilla, wine.
Add wet to dry to create a smooth batter. Transfer into pan and insert grapes into the top. Bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar (opp.) and bake additional 10 minutes. 30 minutes total, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. Remove sides. Serve warm.
LAVENDER INFUSED CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
1 c heavy cream
10 oz. chocolate – 8 oz. good quality, high coca content bittersweet like Ghirardelli; 2 oz. semi sweet (okay to use chips in this quantity).
3 tbsp. butter – softened
Crush lavender with a mortar and pestle.
Break chocolate into small pieces (pound or shave).
(If coating—recommended—put into small ramekins or bowls. Coatings: crushed, toasted nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pecans; cocoa powder, ground espresso)
Heat cream to simmer. Remove from heat.
Add chocolate. Stir slowly. When partially melted add butter. Whisk until glossy. (You are making a chocolate ganache).Add lavender and whisk until incorporated.
Option 1 – Pour into a bowl and chill completely (approx. 4 hours). Best for larger truffles.
Option 2 – Line a shallow square with non-stick foil and pour into a 1” layer. Chill completely. Best for small truffles.
Option 1 – Working next to the sink with a bowl of ice water, scoop out chocolate with melon baller or small spoon. Form into ball quickly with palm of hands. If coating, toss/roll. Put on parchment lined tray or storage container and chill minimum 1 hour before serving.
Option 2 – Cut into small squares with a chilled knife. Lift off square and roll. This technique is faster and a little less messy, but you must be careful foil is not stuck into chocolate. Coat/toss/store/chill as above.
NOTE – If using multiple coatings, toss in nuts last to avoid allergen contamination.