Muscat Cake

 Moody days in London lately. I have been posting a lot of sweets, I realise, perhaps because they are the only food worth mentioning, the only recipes which actually involve a list of ingredients and instructions. The rest of our meals have been made of a lot of impromptu salads and basic soups, with not much to say about them.

I’m now at home with a really bad cold, so I have been trying to make the most of my free time by turning the oven on. Because, when I am sick, I crave sugar. No chicken soup for me, thank you, just tea and cake – it’s my medicine of choice.

Yesterday, I finally baked the cake I had in mind since I bought a truckload of muscat grapes – oh, the excitement! – and froze the extra. The cake is a riff on this one.  I made my usual twists in order to make it a bit more wholesome, but nothing grand. The cake is moist and spongy, and the grapes tend to drop to the bottom as the batter is quite loose. No panic – unless, of course, you’re trying to take some pretty photos of it, which I was, so no photo this time. Oh well.

The cake is elegant and sophisticated but also simple. It’ll be equally at home after a meal and for breakfast or afternoon tea. As for the type of grapes to use, Muscat or Fragolino grapes are best, though a white wine variety such as Chasselas or Sultana grapes will work a charm, too.

Muscat Cake

155g / 1 1/2 cups plain or white spelt flour, or a mix
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
130g / 2/3 cup soft light brown sugar
60 ml/ 1/4 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the pan
3 tablespoons whole plain yoghurt
2 large eggs
Grated zest of 1/2 unwaxed lemon
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
150 ml / 2/3 cup dessert wine (Moscato, Baume de Venise, Sauterne etc.)
300 g / 1 1/2 cup red wine grapes
Icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Brush  a 23 cm/ 9-inch springform pan with olive oil and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk the and yoghurt until blended. Add sugar and whisk some more, until well combined. Crack in eggs and fold through. Add lemon zest and vanilla, too, and finally, pour in the wine.

Transfer to the bowl with the flour mixture and fold until barely combined – try not to overwork the batter. Pour it into the prepared baking dish, then scatter the grapes all over the surface. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is set and deeply golden and the cake is cooked through – test it with a skewer. Let it cool for about 20 minutes, then release the cake from the pan by running a knife all around the edges and under the bottom. Finish cooling on a rack, then dust with icing sugar.



Torta d’Uva e Moscato

155 gr di farina di farro (o farina 00)
1 cucchiaino di lievito per dolci
1/2 cucchiaino di sale fino
1/4 cucchiaino di bicarbonato
130 gr di zucchero di canna naturale
50 ml di olio extravergine d’oliva
3 cucchiai di yogurt naturale intero
2 uova grandi bio
la buccia grattugiata di 1/2 limone
1 cucchiaino di estratto naturale di vaniglia
150 ml di buon vino dolce (moscato, passito, Baume de Venise ecc.)
circa 300 gr di uva nera dolce
olio per la teglia
zucchero a velo per decorare

Accendete il forno a 200°. In una ciotola piccola mescolate la farina con il lievito, il sale e il bicarbonato. In un’altra ciotola più grande sbattete l’olio con lo yogurt, aggiungete lo zucchero e assemblate, aggiungete poi le uova una alla volta, amalgamando il tutto dopo ogni aggiunta. Versare la buccia di limone e la vaniglia, quindi aggiungete 1/3 della farina alla volta, alternandola al vino, e mescolando dopo ogni aggiunta.
Versate l’impasto nella teglia unta con l’olio. Sparpagliate gli acini d’uva sulla superficie (li vedrete affondare). Infornate e cuocete per circa 40 minuti, o fino a quando il dolce non sia cotto dentro e dorato in superficie (fate come sempre la prova stecchino).
Lasciate raffreddare nella teglia per circa 20 minuti, quindi passate un coltello lungo tutto il perimetro della teglia e sformate delicatamente. Raffreddate completamente il dolce prima di spolverare di zucchero a velo e servire.


  1. rossella November 4, 2012

    anche io ho fatto una torta col moscato!!!! (e ti avevo pure pensato nel mentre… ma com'è??? 😉 <3)

  2. Francesca November 4, 2012

    che foto, Vale…che atmosfera! Ecco, mi sembra di essere lì con te, a smettere di annoiarci con questa torta! Un bacio

  3. Mela e Cannella November 4, 2012

    Stessi pensieri stessa luce dentro e fuori di me, stesse voglie stessi desideri, sarà l'autunno credo.Questa torta poco fotogenica ma dall'aspetto intrigante appunto mi intriga parecchio….anche è il mio mood voglia di cose semplici ed essenziali!

  4. Junsui November 5, 2012

    I was so pleased to stumble upon your blog; this is a lovely sounding cake. I agree with your philosophy about craving sweets when ill; I'm also currently under the weather (it's cold season in sunny California) and for some reason I've been thinking about granola sweetened with maple syrup and yogurt cake.

    Also, I recently got my copy of "Jerusalem," too, and I'd highly recommend the tahini cookies. Good stuff; they pair so well with a cup of tea.

  5. Ana Cooks November 14, 2012

    it's so nice when i follow a blog that teachs and inpires me so much!
    It's always a pleasure to visit your blog.
    Thank you!

  6. Cristina December 2, 2012

    Credo che purtroppo sia troppo tardi per delle uve buone ma la terrò sicuramente a mente per l'anno prossimo perché mi incuriosisce davvero! Complimenti per il tuo sito. Cristina


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