For every $10.00 donation to Revive Wellness and their Heart and Stroke Fund Raising Campaign, they will post a heart friendly recipe on their website!
Watching Laura Calder make this cake on TV last week had me propped ready for take off! I had noticed a lot of people using seedless grapes in focaccia recipes that I had wanted to try, but this simple olive oil grape cake recipe is the one that compelled me into my kitchen!
I was pleased to participate when I received the information from Callie at Revive Wellness as I often work to make the recipes we eat regularly at home more heart friendly and do the same when I am teaching at school. My students know to substitute up to half of the fat or oil in a recipe with apple sauce or another fruit purÃ©e. And, I had just seen this recipe that I was going to make and felt it would fit the bill! The cake above is the original Laura Cauler recipe not adapted to be heart friendly. I sent the recipe in to Revive Wellness and one of their dietitians revised it to be heart friendly. I actually thought it already was! Great learning experience for me! Below is the heart friendly version. You will see that the crumb is very different on each cake. The heart friendly version has a texture more like a clafouti. They were both very tasty; however, I would say that the heart friendly cake had more flavour and was a considerably tastier cake while the original version had a much more tender texture and a lovely crumb. Balance that with how much better the heart friendly version is for you, and it is a “no brainer”!
The original version is a delicate and quiet cake. One that would be offered to a girl friend for tea or at the end of a light ladies lunch. Not to say a man would not enjoy this cake. He would. It is just not a manly cake. You must use a really lovely olive oil and the one I chose was a DOP from Tuscany. It had a golden fruity depth to it that perfumed the cake. The citrus zests added life and a freshness to it and the grapes were surprisingly unaffected by the baking process. They were little jewels of pleasure that held bursts of unexpected juiciness!
The grapes offered the same pleasure in the heart friendly cake, but the pear used to replace a portion of the olive oil coupled with the citrus zests adds an enigmatic je ne sais quoi that perfumes the cake and introduces unexpected and delightful flavour notes to it. I was definitely going back for more! I had to make both cakes. I wanted to taste Laura Caulder’s version and was too curious to not test the differences side by side. I love tastings and this was a very revealing project for me.
The “usual” photo essay follows with detailed instructions after. Scroll back up as necessary to see the image to go with the text. I made the original cake first. I advise baking it a little longer until it has the lovely brown crust the heart friendly cake popped out of the oven with.
I followed the instructions to a “T” with the first cake and their was a little too much of a crust formed at the time suggested to add the second half of the grapes to the top. Watch your oven and the surface tension of the cake carefully and add them when they will just sink into the cake. This still worked well, as you will see. I also did not use the weight of the grapes in the recipe. Mine may have been smaller.
I confess. I generously brushed the original cake with the olive oil. It was such a beautiful oil, I could not resist. And the crystal sugar just sets off the cake, doesn’t it?
With the heart friendly cake, I barely touched the surface of the cake with the oil, barely enough to hold the sugar, but just enough to hold the sugar. That was the point.
And, guess what? There was absolutely and positively no noticeable difference in each crust that I could discern in taste. I thought the olive oil slathered crust would be melty in my mouthy. They both were!
Laura Caulder’s Olive Oil Cake with Red Seedless Grapes Recipe with the heart friendly substitutions adapted for the Thermomix!
* 140g (3/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil , more for brushing (95g) 1/2 cup EVOO and 1/4 cup puréed pears
* Zest and juice of 1 lemon
* Zest of 1 orange
* 150g (1 cup) cake flour
* 5 eggs, separated 8 eggs: 5 whites in one bowl and 2 yolks and 3 whites in the other bowl (you will have three extra yolks)
* 150g (3/4 cup sugar) and more for sprinkling
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 9 ounces seedless red grapes, more to taste (optional)
Instructions:(proceed as per original recipe, substituting as required)
- Heat oven to 350°F/180°C; rub a 9-inch/23-cm spring-form pan with olive oil and line the bottom with a parchment paper
- Beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick, pale and ribbony
- Mix in the olive oil, lemon juice and both zests
- Add the flour and stir to combine.
- Beat the egg whites with the salt to soft peaks and gently fold into the batter. Fold in half the grapes.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle the remaining grapes onto the top of the cake and continue to bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
- Cool on a rack, then unmould.
Brush the top generously extra virgin olive oil and scatter over coarse sugar.
Instructions for Thermomix
- Heat oven to 350°F/180°C.; rub a 9-inch/23-cm spring-form pan with olive oil and line the bottom with a parchment paper
- Beat the egg whites with the salt to soft peaks with the butterfly inserted for 2 minutes at speed 4; set aside, and clean the TM bowl
- Scale sugar into the TM bowl, add yolks and insert the butterfly; whip for 4 minutes at speed 3-4
- Scale in the olive oil, lemon juice and both zests
- Scale in the flour; stir to combine for 10 seconds at speed 2; use the spatula to ensure all is mixed in and stir for 5 seconds more, if necessary
- Add whites to bowl; weigh 125g grapes and gently fold together inside TM bowl by hand, pour into spring form pan and fold more, if necessary
- Bake for 20 minutes; scale remaining grapes while baking
- Sprinkle the remaining grapes onto the top of the cake and continue to bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake
- Cool on a rack, then unmould; brush the top generously extra virgin olive oil and scatter over coarse sugar
- Garnish with a little sprig of grapes dusted with powdered sugar and a swirl of olive oil on the plate
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