Back in July when my birthday was coming up, Remco asked me what I wanted as a present and I said: ‘Pergola!’. This pergola has long been planned (& dreamed about) and I must admit that in my lack of restraint I’ve even already bought several edible climbing plants for it. But since summer is a busy season and anything that is already in the garden consumes all of our time and energy, the pergola kept being pushed back – until last week. After the design had been finalized, we ordered the wood on Monday, on Friday it was delivered and on Saturday we started to actually build the pergola. As with any bigger project, it’s awesome to have some help – we are lucky to have friends and family members who consider a Saturday spent building a pergola a Saturday well spent, so there were 5 of us at it and a lot of progress was made (we hope to finish this weekend).
As always, when we have helpers in the garden, we try to at least provide tea and coffee plus cake. Since this time the need to bake a quick cake coincided with the need to do something about the last grapes in our backyard (the variety we grow is called Sovereign Coronation), I decided to bake a cake with grapes.
It was an improvisation, using pantry items but it turned out so well! It reminds me somewhat of this cherry cake (and I’m sure you could substitute cherries if those are in season) but the awesome thing about seedless grapes is that there’s no need to remove any pits. Which means this cake is very easy and fast to make!
Also: I think it has a neat symmetry – eating a grape cake while building a pergola that will support more grape plants!
p.s. I hope to post more about the pergola building and the plants I chose for it soon!
p.p.s. More fall cakes: Plum and hazelnut brown butter cake, Pear & chocolate honey spelt cake, Plum kuchen with streusel
Grape & almond honey cake
This is a very moist cake – should you wish a drier crumb, try leaving out the milk.
150 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
65 g (1/2 cup) whole wheat flour
75 g (a slightly heaped ½ cup) ground almonds (skins and all)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
125 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
125 ml (1/2 cup) honey (if it so not runny, I heat it slightly in a small pan together with olive oil)
2 large eggs
125 ml (½ cup) whole milk yogurt
125 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk
½ tsp almond extract (optional)
450 g (1 pound) seedless grapes
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Grease a springform pan of 24 cm diameter (10 inches) with a bit of butter and line the bottom with parchment. In a medium bowl, mix together both flours, ground almonds, baking powder, soda and salt. In another bowl or a measuring jar, whisk together all the liquid ingredients: olive oil, honey, eggs, yogurt and milk and almond extract, if using. Pour the mix into the dry ingredients and stir together – be careful not to overmix though. Pour the batter into the springform pan and scatter the grapes on top, pushing some deeper into the batter. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If the top browns too quickly, cover it with a piece of aluminium foil. Let cool somewhat before slicing. The cake keeps for about 3 days.