Warm Almond Cakes with Cognac Grapes

Adapted from epicurious.com


¼ cup Cognac

1 cup Melissa’s red Muscato grapes, halved

¾ cup whole blanched almonds*

½ cup sugar, divided

1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened

¾ teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon almond extract

2 large eggs

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt


The day before you plan to make this dish, cut the grapes in half and soak them in the cognac. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 400°F.

In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse almonds and 2 tablespoons of the sugar until finely ground. Pulse in flour and salt; set aside. 

Beat together butter and remaining 6 tablespoons sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in extracts. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and beat in ground almonds, flour, and salt mixture until just combined.

Divide batter among 4 shallow 1/3-cup (1/2" deep) gratin dishes (I used these), and press grapes lightly into batter (discard Cognac). Bake in dishes on a baking sheet until cake is firm and pale golden with slightly darker edges, about 20 minutes. Transfer cakes to a rack and cool slightly in dishes before serving.

*I used what I had on hand -- Blue Diamond Low Sodium Lightly Salted Almonds that I buy in 16-oz. bags and keep in the freezer. In this case, I did not add the additional salt. I like the speckled look the whole almonds with their skins gave this dessert. Really, you can use whatever you have, just measure it out, and grind it up.