On a recent trip to Barcelona, my cousin and I walked into a restaurant (Ubeda @ Avda. Josep Tarradellas 133) early one morning looking for a cup of coffee and something to eat. The restaurant had just opened and the kitchen was still closed. We asked if there was anything we could have with our café cortado, thinking that perhaps they would offer us some pan con tomate. To my surprise our server said “Claro, el bizcocho de Badajoz que acaba de llegar!” (Of course, the Badajoz cake that has just arrived!). He then explained to us that the Badajoz cake is made in a convent in Badajoz, and that the restaurant gets one sent to them once a week.
He walked over to a large box that had been placed on one of the empty tables and cut a piece of the most tender, fluffy, lemon scented pound cake, covered with snowy powdered sugar. We took our first bite and did not say a word. We were definitely not expecting a deliciously sweet confection to have with our coffee. The tender cake had a crunchy layer of sugar, and then a layer of powdered sugar.
After much searching online, I reached out to my twitter friends and Cova from Comoju reached out to her Spanish friends on twitter and facebook and a few days after sent along this recipe from Miriam’s blog La Cocinita de Quiros.
This recipe makes a cake exactly as I remember having, crumbly with a hint of lemon. Perfect with coffee or tea at any time of the day.
Bizcocho de Badajoz (adapted from La Cocinita de Quiros)
16 ounces olive oil
16 ounces flour
Pinch of salt
7 jumbo eggs separated
16 ounces sugar
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Line a 9 by 13 inch glass pan with parchment paper.
2. With a paring knife, remove the rind from 1 lemon. In a small saucepan, place the rind with the olive oil and heat until it starts to simmer it. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn heat off and set aside until the olive oil cools. Remove the lemon rind.
3. In a large bowl, combine the zest of the two other lemons, olive oil, flour, and salt, and set aside.
4. Whip the egg whites to fluffy peaks.
5. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks until thick and creamy. Whisk in the olive oil/flour mixture. Whisk in the baking powder. Fold in the egg whites.
6. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted of the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool. Sift powdered sugar over the top, cut into squares. I served it with sweet gold kiwis.