My Spanish friends have been raving about and serving me bizcocho, a type of coffee cake, for as long as I can remember.
I first learned about the popular breakfast item during the summer of 2007 when a friend and I visited his hometown in Southwestern Spain. Every morning, his mother had ready for us our coffee/tea cups on their saucers; spoons; coffee or tea; and bizcocho. We ate it for days, and I was surprised at how long it stayed fresh, esponjoso (fluffy), and moist. It really was the perfect breakfast food: not too sweet, and it was perfect for accompanying coffee or tea.
My favorite trick or flavor about this dish is the lemon peel. This dish first introduced me to the vibrant flavor that lemon or orange peel can add with the right combination of ingredients. By using the correct utensil, the thin fruit shavings add bursts of flavor with which no artificial sweetener can compete. I highly recommend investing in a peeler / microplane zester or grater (available here: https://amzn.to/2N2Ef2Q) because this unique gadget ensures just the right amount of fruit shavings without the risk of cutting yourself like on a regular grater. The recommended technique is to peel the fruit only until reaching the next layer of the fruit’s skin. Once you have reached the white part of a lemon or orange, for example, you have gone too far and need to begin peeling in another area on the fruit’s surface. Peeling only the top layer (the “zest”) of the lemon or orange is important to keeping the shavings full of their natural flavor.
Having improved the blending of ingredients and techniques for this dish, I now enjoy bizcocho for breakfast (or dessert!) in the United States.
Microplane peeler or grater
Large mixing bowl
Large mixing spoon (or hand blender if preferred)
Two small mixing bowls
Oval, medium-sized baking dish
Piece of paper towel or plastic sandwich bag for greasing baking dish
2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar (or other sweetener)
¼ – ½ cup of yeast
1 cup of Greek yogurt (2% milk can serve as a substitute)
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil (light)
2 tablespoons of butter or margarine
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Coat the inside of the baking pan with a thin layer of butter by lathering it onto the pan with the paper towel or plastic bag. The thin coat of butter or margarine is to prevent the cake from sticking.
Using a microplane peeler or grater, grate the rind off one entire lemon creating tiny flakes. When you reach the white part of the lemon, you know you have gone far enough with the grating in that particular spot. Keep grating the lemon until you have evenly grated the entire lemon in all areas. Once finished, set aside the tiny flakes in one of the small mixing bowls.
After you have grated all of the skin off the lemon, cut it in half. Squeeze the lemon juice from both lemon halves into the other small mixing bowl. Remove and discard any seeds that may have fallen into the small bowl while squeezing the lemon.
In the large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients first, including the flour and sugar (or other preferred sweetener). Mix the dry ingredients well, and then add the liquid ingredients including the eggs, yogurt, olive oil, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Using the fork or hand blender, mix all ingredients together, adding in the yeast and the lemon flakes at the end. The mixture should be smooth and just a bit runny once you have finished mixing in all ingredients.
Slowly pour the mixture into the already greased baking dish. Use a spatula to spread the mixture evenly throughout the pan to create a leveled cake.
Bake the mixture for about 20–25 minutes or until you can strongly smell the cake. Test the center of the cake to determine whether it is done baking by sticking a toothpick gently through the top. If the cake needs more baking, cover it with aluminum foil to prevent the top from burning. Enjoy!
Season of consumption: All
© 2019 Melanie Glover. All rights reserved.
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