You can use all-natural ingredients and still get a grape soda that's bold in both color and flavor.
'concord grapes' on Serious Eats
Concord grapes' scent and flavor are potent and concentrated. Eating one induces temporary synesthesia: I'm positive I'm tasting the color purple when I bite into one. This cake is meant to allow those qualities shine, exult, sing.
You'll find grapes in the cake, and also in a gorgeous patent leather-shiny layer of jam on top. It's crumbly, moist, sticky, glossy, and, how else to describe it: grape-y.
There are very few foods in this world that I truly hate, but one of them is grape jelly. I think it's fake-tasting, too sweet, and lacking in any true grape flavor. I cringe when my toast comes with those little purple packets at restaurants, and I prefer my peanut butter sandwiches with strawberry jam. And yet, the concord grapes looked so beautiful (so autumnal!) at the farmers' market this week I just couldn't resist buying bunch upon bunch. Guess what? Homemade concord grape jam tastes nothing like the sticky-sweet supermarket kind.
Homemade concord grape jam tastes nothing like sticky-sweet supermarket grape jelly. It has a deep, concentrated grape flavor, and is equally tart and sweet. A jar of this jam would make an excellent fall harvest-inspired gift. Try it sandwiched between peanut butter cookies or swirled into banana bread batter.
If I were a poet, I'd write an ode to the grapes that have graced my local greenmarket recently. I love their pucker-inducing skins, and their sweet juicy insides. I love the way that the squishy, gelatinous centers burst out of the skins and squeak between my teeth. I love the seed-spitting contests my husband and amused ourselves with childishly from a blanket in the park. And, most of all, given their perfect combination of sweet, tart and colorful, I'm loving them for baking.
Since the grapes have such a strong flavor and color, I created a simple martini that really allowed it to shine. Fresh concord grape juice is paired with a hefty serving of vodka and a splash of white vermouth to make a cocktail that is 100% adult. Each sip starts with the vivid, sweet flavor of the grapes and ends with the warm, sharp taste of vodka—a perfect balance.
For me, Concord grapes are one of the highlights of early fall. Their fleeting season combined with their fantastic sweet-tart flavor and curious thick-skinned texture makes them exciting to eat straight off of the bunch, but even more thrilling when shaken up into this Concord Spritzer from Laurent Tourondel's Fresh from the Market.