Bizcochos Borrachos (Drunken Biscuit)

When Cyrus recently returned from a business trip to Spain, he called me from the airport to proudly announce that I may expect a treat of Spanish delights soon after his airplane would touch down in Berlin. So I hectically began searching for a recipe for a quick and easy to make Spanish dessert to round off the Epicurean evening lying ahead of me, ideally without having to hit the supermarket for ingredients. My search brought me across this dish traditional to the Guadalajara region and Central Spain and its name appealed to me instantly.

My only change to the traditional way of preparation is that I make the syrup with maple syrup whereas it is, originally, made with honey. Alas, my twisted taste buds have implanted a deep-rooted dislike of honey in my system dating back to those earliest days of my life that I may still retrieve from my memory. To cut a long story short: Feel free to exchange maple syrup back with honey.

Bizcochos borrachos are mostly served in square shape, but I made them in a round cake pan for the simple reason that I do not possess a square cake pan. Square pieces may be a bit easier to soak in the syrup, but otherwise, I trust it does very little to the taste and look of this dish 🙂

Sanni

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Ingredients (for 8 servings):

For the biscuit:

  • 4 medium or 3 extra large eggs
  • 60 grams of sugar
  • 90 grams of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of lemon or orange zest for decoration

For the syrup:

  • 90 grams of sugar
  • 500 ml of water
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey
  • juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 50 ml of Spanish brandy

Preparation:

Preparing the biscuit:

  1. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Should the egg yolks break in the process, make sure that you have absolutely no egg yolk in the egg white or it will not stiffen.
  2. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixture with 10 grams of the sugar until it stiffens and becomes glossy. The egg whites should be stiff enough so that a cut with a knife remains visible.
  3. Beat the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until creamy and very lightly yellow / off-white.
  4. Carefully fold the egg yolk into the egg white with a dough scraper or plastic cooking spoon until the mass is smooth and free of lumps.
  5. Pass the four and the baking powder through a fine sieve onto the egg mass and carefully fold in. Make sure the batter is smooth and lump free.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (fan oven).
  7. Prepare a cake pan by baking generously buttering it and then flouring it. The amount of dough in this recipe is sufficient for a small round cake pan (approximately 18 cm in diameter) or a small square cake pan of an equivalent size.
  8. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Check doneness by inserting, e.g., a toothpick or knitting needle into the center, and if no dough sticks to it when pulled out, the cake is done.
  9. Carefully remove from the cake pan and let the biscuit cool down completely. Decorate with a few pinches of ground cinnamon and some orange and/or lemon zest.

Preparing the syrup:

  1. Pour the water and sugar into a saucepan or a deep non-stick frying pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the cinnamon stick (broken in halves), the maple syrup and the lemon juice and zest. Depending on how sweet you like your syrup to taste add either a bit more or less lemon juice. Continue simmering for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The syrup should not become too thick.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the brandy and aloo the syrup to cool.

For serving, cut the cake into pieces (a small round cake pan produces 8 pieces), put the pieces on individual plates and drizzle the syrup over the cake pieces until nicely soaked. Enjoy!

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