The recipe for the Sunday Slow Bakers that was chosen this week from 'Dolce Italiano' is a alcohol infused sponge cake. Grappa Cakes. I couldn't wait!
I set off on a search for Grappa~ for those who may not know, this is a potent liqueur that is made from the skins and stems of grapes. It is an Italian favorite. 'Perfetto' for correcting a cup of coffee, digesting a big meal, or taking off the chill on a cold evening.
Apparently the ABC store is not interested in expanding our international culture. The helpful folks at the Piggley Wiggley pointed me toward the grape jelly. It is obvious I am not going to find Grappa in Alabama. (One more thing to put on my shopping list in Italy)
So, in place of the illusive Grappa~ I used Limoncello. Every bit as yummy!
¾ cup sugar
½ cup grappa
¼ cup water
2 cup sifted cake flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
8 large eggs, separated
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs grappa
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup unsalted butter (melted)
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350°
Grease 2 mini bundt pans (each 1 cup capacity) with non-stick cooking spray, dust with flour, and tap out excess flour. For grappa syrup: Stir together sugar, ½ cup grappa, and water in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring contents to a boil, then lower heat and allow syrup to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool.
To make sponge cakes: Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl beat egg yolks together with sugar and honey on medium speed until very light, pale yellow in color and doubled in volume (about 3 minutes). Beat in grappa and vanilla, followed by cooled butter. Transfer the egg mixture to a large clean mixing bowl. Fold in the dry ingredients quickly and lightly, using a rubber spatula, stopping just before they are fully incorporated. Place egg whites and salt into cleaned bowl. Using whisk attachment on medium-high speed, beat the egg whites until they are foamy and light. Add cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter, this will also incorporate any streaks of dry ingredients that remain. Spoon the batter into prepared pans, filling them ¾ full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 min. in pans, then carefully turn them out onto a wire rack.
Gently brush grappa syrup over entire surface of warm cakes until all the syrup has been used. Allow cakes to cool completely before serving. Serve cakes with whipped cream or gelato and fresh fruit, or simply dusted with powdered sugar.
I used some fresh strawberries, and an extra drizzle of my Limoncello syrup.
Good thing I'm headed to Italy in 15 days!
Buon Appetito y'all