La Vuelta Gastronómica – Bizcocho de Chocolate y Fresas

Bizcocho de chocolate y fresas

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)

INGREDIENTS

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
For the ‘icing’:
  • 100 g dark chocolate (~70% cocoa)
  • 2 Tsp white sugar
  • 70 ml water
For the filling:
  • 2 cups strawberries, clean and with stems removed
  • 2 Tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
INSTRUCTIONS
Chocolate cover:
  1. Boil chocolate, sugar and water in a pot
  2. When mix starts to thicken, retire from fire and let cool
Filling:
  1. Add strawberries, vanilla and sugar to a saucepan
  2. Cook the mixture at medium-high heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  3. Puree with a hand blender
Sponge cake:
  1. Separate egg yolks from whites.
  2. Mix egg whites with lemon juice and beat until they form stiff peaks.
  3. Whisk egg yolks and mix with sugar and lemon zest.
  4. Add yogurt and oil to the egg yolk mix.
  5. Add flour and baking powder to the egg yolk mixture and stir until blended.
  6. Add egg whites to the mix, folding with a wooden spoon.
  7. Pour the batter into a greased 5X9 inch loaf pan
  8.  Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean
  9. Cut the bizcocho into a top and bottom half and spread the strawberry filling in the middle, and re-assemble.
  10. Pour chocolate on top and let stand 15 minutes before serving
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