Vineyard cake

Vineyard Cake (aka Cleopatra Cake)

(Serves 12)

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons (2 teaspoons)

Finely grated zest of 1 orange (2 teaspoons)

Scraped seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod

4 large eggs

1 3/4 cups Carte Or Muscat de Beaumes de Venise wine, at room temperature

3 1/2 ounces seedless red grapes, washed and halved lengthwise

For Sugar Crust Topping:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 1/2 ounces seedless red grapes, washed and halved lengthwise

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch round, 4-inch-deep angel food cake or chiffon pan, tapping away any excess flour.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a bowl and set aside.

Place the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Add the butter, olive oil, lemon zest, orange zest and vanilla seeds and beat for 2 minutes on medium-high speed, until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn the speed to low and add a third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the wine. Repeat with the remaining flour and wine, finishing with the final third of flour and continuing to beat on a low speed. Once combined, pour into the prepared cake pan and scatter the grapes evenly on top. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

To make the sugar crust topping: While the cake is in the oven, place the butter and sugar in a small bowl and beat with a wooden spoon to form a thick paste. When the cake has been in the oven for 20 minutes, quickly but gently remove it and dot the sugar crust evenly over the top, breaking it into small pieces as you go. Scatter the grapes evenly over the top and return it to the oven.

Immediately lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake for another 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan. The cake can either be served straightaway or stored in an airtight container.

Note: This cake must be made in an angel food cake or chiffon pan. The cake is so large that it’s only this kind of pan — with a hole built into the middle — that will enable an even bake. Bundt pans will not work because you want the sugar crust and grapes to reamin on top when the cake is served, which would not be possible as the Bundt pan is inverted.

This cake will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature

From “Sweet” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh