A series to pay homage to the biggest cycling event in Spain: La Vuelta a España. You can join this tour without a bike, but not with an empty stomach. For more Spanish recipes on this series, follow this link.
When La Vuelta time arrives, cycling loving Spaniards are faced with a tough decision: either they succumb to the call of one of the most famous Spanish “institutions” – la siesta-, or they arm themselves with a fan, an iced black coffee and a dessert to combat the blazing afternoon sun of August by the TV and cheer (loudly) for their favorite GC contender. Bizcochos are a dessert and breakfast treat, much like a sponge cake, beloved all around Spain. They are also a personal, old-time favorite of mine. Not being much of siesta follower, the decision has always been crystal clear for me: give me some caffeine and bizcocho and let the Vuelta get started!
In the most classic Spanish and Italian tradition, I still enjoy my breakfasts small and consisting of little more than a coffee and a sweet treat. So now that we follow the Vuelta from Vancouver, the time difference aligns beautifully and I can still enjoy the bizcocho and Vuelta tandem over breakfast.
We’ll be trying to keep up with the Vuelta riders over the next 3 weeks as they travel through Spain featuring some recipes of the regions they’ll be going through. Note that I am pretty slow rider, so it may just so happen that this particular Vuelta a España will end up taking more than three weeks. For now, just get your coffee ready and try this first recipe for starters.
Difficulty: Training wheels
Time: 20 mins (preparation) + 40-45 minutes (cooking)
For the sponge cake:
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup measure white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 1 lemon zest
- 2 Tsp lemon juice
- 100 g dark chocolate (~70% cocoa)
- 2 Tsp white sugar
- 70 ml water
- 2 cups strawberries, clean and with stems removed
- 2 Tsp white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Boil chocolate, sugar and water in a pot
- When mix starts to thicken, retire from fire and let cool
- Add strawberries, vanilla and sugar to a saucepan
- Cook the mixture at medium-high heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Puree with a hand blender
- Separate egg yolks from whites.
- Mix egg whites with lemon juice and beat until they form stiff peaks.
- Whisk egg yolks and mix with sugar and lemon zest.
- Add yogurt and oil to the egg yolk mix.
- Add flour and baking powder to the egg yolk mixture and stir until blended.
- Add egg whites to the mix, folding with a wooden spoon.
- Pour the batter into a greased 5X9 inch loaf pan
- Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean
- Cut the bizcocho into a top and bottom half and spread the strawberry filling in the middle, and re-assemble.
- Pour chocolate on top and let stand 15 minutes before serving