“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
– L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
I recently borrowed some cookbooks from the library, needless to say, they were all about baking. One of them is by Rose Levy Beranbaum, a highly regarded baking author. Her recipes are known for being extremely detailed and well written. I have posted a recipe based on hers previously, the Rosemary Pine Nut Gâteaux Breton. I borrowed her earlier book called Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. I was craving some sort of butter/pound cake. The only thing about pound cake recipes is that most of them are on the drier side because pound cakes are traditionally made with a pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. The result is a rich cake with a very dense crumb. While flipping through the book, I came across a recipe called Whipped Cream Cake that contains no butter at all because the recipe relies on the butterfat in the whipping cream. I was so excited to try as the ingredients and method were very simple, and it seemed like it would yield a dense yet moist cake – just what I wanted. I created this Concord Grape Whipped Cream Cake to honour this delicious fall harvest fruit. Concord grapes are excellent for baking and canning because of their intense fruity flavour. This cake has a wonderful texture, and the fresh grapes add a pleasant juiciness and flavour to it. Coronation grapes work very well for this recipe too, it is a variety similar to Concord grape that was developed in Canada (where I live), I love getting from farmer’s markets!
- 225g / 2-1/4 cup sifted cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 348g / 1-1/2 cup whipping cream
- 3 large eggs / 150g
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 225g / 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- 165g / 1-1/2 concord / coronation grapes
- Zest of one small lemon
- Preheat oven to 375F / 190C. Butter a 10 cup fluted bundt cake pan and dust with flour, tap out extra.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: sifted cake flour, salt and baking powder.
- Lightly whisk together eggs, vanilla extract and lemon zest.
- Whip whipping cream in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, starting at low speed, and increase to high speed gradually and whip cream to form stiff peaks. (no need to chill bowl and whisk)
- On medium high speed, gradually beat the egg mixture into the whipped cream. The cream will thicken to a mayonnaise texture. Gradually beat in the sugar, it will take about 30 seconds to incorporate.
- Add half the flour mixture to the cream mixture, and with a large silicone spatula, stir and fold in the flour until most of it disappears. Add the rest of the flour mixture, grapes, and continue folding until all traces of flour have disappears.
- Scrape or spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Run a small metal spatual or dull knife blade through the batter to prevent large air bubbles, avoiding the bottom of the pan. Smooth surface evenly with a small metal spatula.
- Bake cake for about 35-45 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted between the tube and the side comes out completely clean and the cake springs bake when pressed lightly in the center. The start should start to shink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Flip the cake onto the cooling rack. cool completely before serving.
- To serve: top with fresh grapes in the center of the cake and dust with icing sugar. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream, if desired.
Recipe adapted from Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Berenbaum, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009.
Concord grapes tastes like grape soda, naturally. I love its floral wine flavour when they are baked into the cake. The lemon adds a slight refreshing flavour to the sweet and tart taste of the grapes. The texture of this cake is definitely reminiscent of a pound cake, except a bit lighter on the butter flavour and texture, but stays quite moist yet retaining that dense crumb without needing any syrup. It is just right for me. Also, it is another great idea to use leftover whipping cream.