Individual Grape and Vin Santo Cakes


When I saw this in Gourmet magazine several months ago, I knew I had to make it.  I knew it would be fabulous and the rest is history.

What I didn’t know is I would decide to make these Individual Grape and Vin Santo Cakes on a day when temperatures outside would climb to 90 degrees.  It was a little hot from the oven, but oh well.  It was worth it.

Now you are saying, what is Vin Santo? 

Well, it’s one of my favorite Italian dessert wines originating from Tuscany.  Vin Santo does have a dry version but I prefer the sweet.  Made from Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes, I love sipping Vin Santo while dunking almond biscotti into the wine.  This is the classic way to serve it.  You have to try it.

Vin Santo can be pricey as the grapes are hand-picked, hung from rafters in a building and dried.  Once dried they are pressed and the juice fermented in caratelli (small-cigar shaped barrels).  After fermentation is complete the caratelli are sealed and placed under the winery roof for aging….for a long time.  The result, is an amazing nutty-nectar that warms you as it goes down.

So you see, I had to make this cake with the beloved Vin Santo.

If you are looking for an elegant, grown-up dessert…especially if you are serving an Italian meal…but even if you are not…make this.  It is intoxicating in taste, tender in texture and sports a crisp, sugary crust.  The addition of the grapes help play up the Vin Santo.  It’s a good, good thing.

If you can serve this warm, out of the oven, you will be rewarded with the aroma of the nutty Vin Santo and delicate wafts of orange zest.  It’s haunting.  As you eat this and sip the remaining Vin Santo you will feel like you are having an experience.  Of some kind.  It is still fabulous at room temperature you just don’t get the wafting aroma experience.

I’m sending this over to Ivonne for Magazine Mondays.

Vin Santo is available in wine shops and online.

Let’s make it…

Here’s what you will need:  Vin Santo, seedless red grapes, unsalted butter, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, table salt, orange zest and powdered sugar.

Whisk together 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Set aside.

Beat 1/2 cup unsalted butter with 2/3 cup granulated sugar using an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy; about three minutes.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the zest of one orange.

Add flour mixture in batches alternating with wine, beginning and ending with flour and mixing until just incorporated.  DO NOT OVERMIX!

Toss grapes with remaining Tablespoon of flour, then fold into batter.

Divide the batter among 6 jumbo muffin cups that have been generously buttered and floured or sprayed with a floured cooking spray.  Sprinkle with remaining 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar. 

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch. 

Cool in pan 5 minutes, then CAREFULLY (the cake is tender) loosen with a knife and remove the cakes.  Cool to warm.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve with more Vin Santo!

It’s killing me knowing there is one left in my kitchen.  Waiting for me.  Calling to me.

A grape peep show.

Another peeper getting in on the action.

A grape surprise inside. 

Individual Grape And Vin Santo Cakes
Adapted from Gourmet

1-1/2 cups plus 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided 
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs
Zest of one orange
2/3 cup Vin Santo
1-1/4 cups seedless red grapes, halved (7 oz) (Do not add more, it will create too much moisture)
Powdered sugar

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

Beat butter with granulated sugar using an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy; about three minutes.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the zest of one orange.

Add flour mixture in batches alternating with wine, beginning and ending with flour and mixing until just incorporated.  DO NOT OVERMIX!  Toss grapes with remaining Tablespoon of flour, then fold into batter.

Divide the batter among 6 jumbo muffin cups that have been generously buttered and floured or sprayed with a floured cooking spray.  Sprinkle with remaining 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar. 

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch.  Cool in pan 5 minutes, then CAREFULLY (the cake is tender) loosen with a knife and remove the cakes.  Cool to warm.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve with more Vin Santo!

Post a Comment

67 Comments

  1. Hilary 1

    Hi Cathy .. I loved the post about the Vin Santo – interesting to hear how it is made .. thank you & the cakes look delicious too!
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

    Reply
  2. Oooooh! Yummy. I am printing the recipe up as I write this comment. We have an ‘event’ this weekend that just might need these little cakes!

    Reply
  3. deeba 3

    Love the peep show & the fruity flavours Cathy!!

    Reply
  4. Donna 4

    This looks beyond delicious. Love the idea. So So So lovely too.

    Reply
  5. Julia 5

    This does look fabulous! I remember the first time I had vin santo and biscotti — sitting at a cafe in the Tuscan countryside overlooking the rolling hills…ah…

    Reply
  6. Leslie 6

    I love the grape peep show! How naughty!

    Reply
  7. Cath!
    I made the same vin santo cakes from Gourmet this weekend! but because it was Sunday, and I the liquor stores were closed, I substituted port for the vin santo…..they came out delicious!

    Reply
  8. As much as I love vin santo straight from the bottle, I may have to part with 2/3 cup of it for this delicious recipe.

    Reply
  9. What a coincidence…I just saw a cake recipe on food network using Vin Santo and olive oil….check it out and see if it appeals to you…

    link to foodnetwork.com

    Reply
  10. Marlene 10

    OMGoodness…I am making these this weekend. Have I told you lately how much I LOVE YOU.

    Reply
  11. Melynda 11

    Sounds wonderful. I love the term “nutty nectar”.

    Reply
  12. Shawn 12

    I still want to come live with you. Just warning ya also…to me, silence implies consent! ;o)

    Reply
  13. You have convinced me. I could almost smell them coming out of the oven.

    Reply
  14. What a delightful splurge! Your little cakes look and sound so wonderful! My aunt makes lovely little cookies using Vin Santo. Don’t know the official name, but we call them wine biscuits. They’re kind of dense and not very sweet. Perfect for dunking in coffee!

    Reply
  15. Wow, looks great! Will have to remember that at one of my “Grown up” dinner parties!

    Reply
  16. Julie 16

    I learn so much from you…really :) You made me want these little cakes right now!

    Reply
  17. Sandra 17

    Oh fabulous! Dave and I are going to Italy next month so I’ve put this wine on my “list”.

    Reply
  18. Marjie 18

    Grownup desserts? They don’t see the light of day in my house, but this one makes me wish they could!

    Reply
  19. Those look delicious! I have an Italian-themed movie night w friends coming up–that would be the perfect dessert!

    Since the wine goes so well w/ almond biscotti you should invent a dessert that incorporates that!!

    Reply
  20. Trisha 20

    As always, this recipe is drool-worthy!

    Reply
  21. Kayola 21

    OOOooooooo…I don’t have any recipe’s with grapes in it…they look delicious!

    Reply
  22. dawn 22

    Wow, these sound amazing. When I was in Tuscany I had the pleasure of trying Vin Santo and it is wonderful. What a great use this is. Very nice.

    Reply
  23. Jeff 23

    ohh lala a little peek show action. Sweet!

    This sounds awesome and yeah hot weather plus oven is not a good thing.

    Reply
  24. Laurie 24

    Wow, these look incredible. I’ve never heard of Vin Santo, but obviously I’m missing out big time. Love your grape peep show! And your description of the aromas – wonderful…

    Reply
  25. These cakes look amazing! We recently tried Vin Santo and really liked it!

    Reply
  26. Yum…

    Reply
  27. Other than salads, I don’t think I have ever cooked with grapes before. This not only sounds yummy, but like a culinary adventure for a novice like me!

    Reply
  28. Pam 28

    I wish you had an extra one for me. They look AMAZING. I’ll be on the lookout for Vin Santo.

    Reply
  29. Bob 29

    They sound delicious, if a little outside my current budget. But I will remember it for when I get a couple extra bucks yet. Hmmm, my tax return should be coming soon…

    Reply
  30. imom 30

    These look so good! I would never think to put grapes into batter for baking! So different!

    Reply
  31. I love seeing recipes that use standard seedless grapes. I made a grape pie last year because I was searching for something to do with them, and I’ve learned they cooke beautifully. This is lovely, and I can’t wait to serve it.

    Reply
  32. Blass 32

    Sounds and looks absolutely delicious. Is there a substitute for the Vin Santo?

    Reply
  33. Liz C. 33

    Now you have me wanting to race right out & buy a bottle of Vin Santo! However, I think I’ll wait until the liquor stores open.

    And, those lovely little cakes! They look so scrumptious!

    Reply
  34. Alisa 34

    Beautifully yummy.

    Reply
  35. Just another reason to invest in a new bottle of booze. Grapes in cakes, pies and tarts is still so new and interesting. This sounds like a nice intro to that idea.

    Reply
  36. Blass 36

    Sounds and looks absolutely delicious. Is there a substitute for the Vin Santo?

    Reply
  37. grace 37

    grapes…in cupcakes. it occurs to me that the lovely little orbs are extremely underutilized in the baking world! duly noted, and fabulous recipe. :)

    Reply
  38. dawn 38

    I’ve seen this too somewhere and loved the idea of the grapes.
    As always, yours came out perfectly. Love the grape peep show! LOL

    Reply
  39. What fancy little cakes and you are right- just perfect after and Italian meal. Will have to hunt down that wine suggestion. I do like a sweet wine!

    Reply
  40. lo 40

    This is so very Right Up My Alley! Looks perfect — and a great tribute to the Vin Santo!

    Reply
  41. Those look so exotic and sophisticated!

    Reply
  42. I love those grown up desserts. I have to try that wine.

    Reply
  43. Sara 43

    I have a couple recipes that use vin santo that I’ve been saving – I’m adding this one to the list too!

    Reply
  44. i saw this recipe too and flagged it. this is the kind of cake i dream of… real vin santo is so damn pricey around here though… and to use nearly 6oz in the cake itself. ouch. but really, i would and i might…

    Reply
  45. Tami 45

    Those look delish. I love the grapes peeping out. Did you go get that last one and devour it???

    Reply
  46. Lori E 46

    I have all the ingredients except the wine. I guess I will have to go and find some. Sigh, another new wine to fall in love with.

    Reply
  47. Sara 47

    I Love the grapes baked in this recipe, it’s certainly an under utilized fruit!

    Reply
  48. Debbie 48

    Yum…that just looks so good and something different for a change.

    Reply
  49. At first glance with the first pic, I thought this was a post on a type of creme brulee. 😉 These are beautiful. I like the grape peep shows and I’d really like to try Vin Santo, because I like a sweeter dessert wine.

    Shirley

    Reply
  50. Steph 50

    That is so cool! I’ve always wanted to try baking with grapes

    Reply
  51. I love the grape peep show! These look so beautiful–thanks!

    Reply
  52. Jordan 52

    Oh dear….. Oh my….. Those look absolutely lovely. :)

    Reply
  53. Laura 53

    Oh wow that looks heavenly. So golden and the powdered sugar… yum, yum YUM.

    Reply
  54. megan 54

    I love dessert wines and I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for this one. Those cakes look delicious. Another must try if I find the wine!

    Reply
  55. Linda 55

    Would it be wrong to make these for breakfast?

    Reply
  56. elra 56

    Amazing Cathy! You always able to find such a good recipe.
    Cheers,
    elra

    Reply
  57. Nicole 57

    Oh My!!! How gorgeous the little cakes are.

    Reply
  58. Those cakes look so delicate and delicious!

    Reply
  59. This looks awesome! I have to try baking these.

    Reply
  60. mindy 60

    these are so cool; thanks for educating us about Vin Santo. i’d never heard of it before!

    Reply
  61. These look wonderful… Please come by my blog and enter my new cookbook giveaway!

    Reply
  62. Elyse 62

    Oh man, you have me wanting to try Vin Santo after reading your post. And these little cakes, well, they’re just precious. I mean, boy, do they look delicious!

    Reply
  63. Trish 63

    Love the recipe, love the website. How absolutely wonderful. I shall bookmark this site for future reference.

    Reply
  64. Ivonne 64

    You know what’s funny, when I saw the recipe in the magazine, I was like, “ooooooooooooooooooooooh!”. And I don’t even really like vin santo but I’ll learn to like it, damn it, just to try one of these.

    Delicious!

    Reply
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  66. Thanks for the recipe. It looks really very yummy! Will try doing it.

    Reply
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