All about Grapes
In my latest creation, grapes are floating between a lactose free mascarpone cream held together by a light and fluffy almond cake topped with some gelatin marsala and more grapes. I must admit it looks heavenly. Did you know that grapes are technically berries? I have never thought of them as berries. Grapes are also on our seasonal fruit list. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and we send you our special seasonal veggie and fruit list every month.
You can make a distinction between table grapes and grapes used to make wines. Table grapes can be eaten fresh. While wine is made from specific varieties of wine grapes. These same grapes are also used to make jam, juice, vinegar, jelly and raisins. Table grapes tend to have large, seedless fruit with relatively thin skin. Wine grapes are smaller, usually seeded. And have relatively thick skins. Much of the aroma in wine comes from the skin. I made this cake from rose table grapes. Try to buy nice big grapes, they are more decorative.
The earliest archeological evidence for a dominant position of wine-making in human culture dates from 8,000 years ago in Georgia. The oldest winery was found in Armenia, dating to around 4000 BC. Unbelievable, isn’t it?
Ancient Greek Vase
For this recipe I used Marsala. Marsala wine is produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala in Sicily. You have a sweet and dry version. In this case I used sweet marsala. But you can use any sweet dessert wine to your liking. I have also used Hungarian Tokaji Aszú in my other mascarpone cake with fig.
Gelatin is a very important ingredient in this cake. It is possible to use powder or sheet gelatin. I have used it many times, but I’m always a little excited to see if it will actually set. It is important to check the date on the label to make sure it’s not expired. This time I melted gelatin in water and in Marsala wine. Both variations work well. So, if you do not want to use alcohol, you can easily substitute with water or grape juice.
Grapes Cake with Marsala
- 6 large eggs separated to yolks and whites
- 50 gram xylitol or erythritol
- 80 gram blanched almond flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 500 gram Mascarpone cheese lactose free
- 2 large eggs only whites
- 5 tbsp honey or more if like sweeter
- 6 tbsp sweet Marsala wine or other dessert wine eg.Tokaji Aszú
- 10 gram gelatin or 8 sheets
- 80 ml almond milk
- 500 gram rose table grapes seedless, share it with the decoration
- 6 gram gelatin
- 100 ml Marsala wine or water
- Rose table grapes
- Make the batter base. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare a 30 x 33 cm baking tray with non-stick reusable tin liner, if you don’t have it, replace with parchment paper.
- Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a big bowl with electric hand mixer until the peaks stand straight up.
- Mix egg yolks with xylitol/erythritol in another big bowl until it is light yellow and airy.
- Add almond flour to the egg yolk mixture and mix it with a kitchen spoon.
- Add beaten egg whites to almond flour mixture and fold it carefully with kitchen spoon, to not break the egg white foam.
- Smooth the batter into the baking tray and bake for 16 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 20 minutes.
- If you use gelatin sheets, put them into cold water. If you use gelatin powder, skip this instruction.
- Put mascarpone into big bowl. Add honey, marsala wine and a pinch of salt and mix them.
- Beat the 2 egg whites with a pinch of salt in other bowl with electric hand mixer until the peaks stand straight up.
- Add beaten egg whites to mascarpone mixture and fold it carefully with kitchen spoon.
- If you used gelatin sheets, take them out of the cold water to sauce-pan, with almond milk together. Melt gelatin sheets on the lowest temperature on the stove. It’s about 1 minute not more, stir constantly. It should not be warmer than lukewarm. If you used gelatin powder, melt it in the lukewarm almond milk now.
- Add melted gelatin to the mascarpone mixture, stir gently.
- Line a 11 cm x 26 cm baking pan with cling film.
- Cut out two slices of the baked and cold almond cake. The slices should be the same size of the baking pan.
- Place 1 slice to the baking pan. Pour mascarpone mixture in it.
- Sprinkle evenly with about 20-22 big grapes. The grapes sink, but that’s not a problem.
- Place the other almond cake to the top. Cover with cling film and put it into the fridge at least 2 hours, but it’s better for overnight.
- After 2 hours or next day, when the mascarpone cream is set, open the cling film and turn the cake onto the serving plate.
- Cut the grapes in half and decorate the top of the cake with it.
- Melt gelatin in Marsala wine or water and brush the the top of the cake with it. It will be nice and bright and help to hold the grapes together. You have to work quickly, because gelatin set fast.
- Put the cake into the fridge for 30 minutes, until gelatin perfectly set, then serve. Enjoy!