After walking for several hours on Spain’s Camino de Santiago the sight of a cafe is a relief. You can get off your feet for a few minutes, use the restroom and grab a bite to eat. For coffee lovers, it’s a great time to recharge and usually you’ll be served a piece of a plain cake. Here it’s called bizcocho while in the US we’d call it a pound cake or a coffee cake. There’s a lot of variety, but today I’m going to share a basic bizcocho recipe that is fantastic on its own and can easily be fancied up.
I found this recipe from Cocina dot es during a Pinterest search. It uses a container of yogurt and the flour and sugar are measured out using the empty container. Lots of fun and it saves having to weigh the sugar and flour as is common in European baking.
The recipe easily fills a standard loaf pan, but Rick’s cousin Montse doubles the recipe make a sheet cake that’s loaded with sliced apples. She bakes hers in the roasting pan that fits into the oven rack (about 13 x 17 inches). Other add ins include a couple tablespoons of jam, using a flavored yogurt or beating in a tablespoon (or more) of cocoa powder. You could also sprinkle with a streusel topping if desired. I decided to add a couple teaspoons of vanilla (find out how to make your own here) since I used a plain yogurt. The top is a dusting of powdered sugar.
What makes this basic bizcocho recipe different from the standard pound cake is it uses oil instead of butter and the egg whites are beaten separately and mixed into the batter. This results in a cake that is esponjoso, which means spongy but when it comes to baking is better translated as light and airy or fluffy. The writer at the Cocina dot es recommends the use of cake flour for an even lighter result, but we were not disappointed by our all purpose flour bizcocho.
- 1 4 oz (125gm) container plain yogurt (I used Greek style). Use the empty container to measure the other ingredients as noted.
- 1 measure light flavored oil (I used sunflower)
- 2 measures sugar (Add another half measure if you like a sweeter cake)
- 3 measures flour (I used all purpose flour)
- 3 large eggs, separated.
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- You'll need two bowls to mix the cake. Prepare a large loaf pan with cooking spray and flour. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
- Put the yogurt into one bowl. Separate the eggs. Add the yolks to the yogurt and the whites to a new bowl.
- Beat the whites until soft peaks form.
- Use the empty yogurt container to measure the sugar and oil into the yogurt and yolks. Add the vanilla and beat together until the sugar has dissolved.
- Stir in the egg whites.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the batter (I use a large mesh strainer) and continue to mix until the batter is uniform.
- Pour into the prepared loaf pan and transfer to the oven.
- Reduce the heat to 350F/180C and set the time for 50 minutes.
- The bizcocho is finished when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- After baking is complete, allow the cake to rest for 10 minutes or so before removing from the loaf pan to finish cooling.
- Before serving dust with powdered sugar.