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RECIPE: RED AND GREEN GRAPE CAKE

A favourite recipe straight from my new cook book - The Caker - Wholesome Cakes, Cookies and Desserts.

Developing this recipe was the first time I'd ever baked with fresh grapes, but is something I'll do often from now on. I discovered that oven roasting grapes is the best thing ever – they become soft, sticky and caramelized, and look rather beautiful.

Serves 12

Ingredients:
200g butter, softened
200g golden unrefined caster sugar
4 organic eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g spelt or buckwheat flour
200g ground almonds
1/2 cup of fresh red grapes – washed and cut in half
1/2 cup of fresh green grapes, washed and cut in half

Icing:
200g mascarpone
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon

To top with:
1/4 cup of fresh red grapes, washed and cut in half (leave some whole if you prefer)
1/4 cup of fresh green grapes, washed and cut in half (leave some whole if you prefer)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Line a 22cm cake tin, and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Prepare the grapes which the cake will be topped with by placing the halved ¼ cup each of red and green grapes on the tray and baking for approximately 15 minutes, or until soft and slightly golden.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with the vanilla.
Gradually fold in the flour and ground almonds.
Pour the batter into the cake tin. Dot in the grapes.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes. The cake is ready when it is golden in colour, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool for around 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, make the mascarpone icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients until a smooth, glossy consistency is reached.
Once the cake is fully cool, apply a generous layer of the icing and decorate with the roasted grapes.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.