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Bica blanca, a typical white cake

>> Monday, May 23, 2011

Bica blanca 1

Bicas are a kind of popular dense cake, typical in some areas of the northwest corner of Spain, in Galicia. Among the several varieties of bicas, one of my favourites is bica blanca or white bica. And why is it called white? Well, because it uses only the egg whites and no yolks. White bica is a luscious cake made with egg whites, sugar, flour and... tons of cream. It's the perfect recipe to use up leftover egg whites from custards, flans and the like. I prepare this cake every now and then and it's always a huge success, my kids love it and you know they are quite picky. Though I am sure the bleak winters in the area where this cake originates help people to burn all the sugar and the cream it contains... unlike my boys, who certainly spend to much time in front of the video console.

Bica blanca 3

Bica blanca

  • 6 egg whites
  • 2.5 cup/250g AP flour
  • 1 cup/250ml whipping cream
  • 1.3 cup/325g sugar
  • Butter for the dish
  • Ground cinnamon for sprinkling
  1. Preheat the oven to 180º-200ºC/356º-392ºF, depending on the type of heating, either traditional or air convection.
  2. Separate the egg whites from the yolks if you are using whole eggs instead of leftover whites. Use the yolks to make a good custard...
  3. Measure the flour and set aside.
  4. Measure the sugar.
  5. Whip the egg whites in a food processor with a pinch of salt and add the sugar little by little once the whites have started to foam, till you have a stiff meringue. Set aside a couple spoonfuls of sugar for later sprinkling on top of the cake.
  6. When the meringue is stiff, set the speed to low and add the flour by the spoonful while beating.
  7. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Add it to the meringue-flour mixture and mix carefully and gently with a spatula.
  8. Line a rectangular cake dish with parchment paper (typical bicas are rectangular and wrapped in paper). Butter the paper and pour the batter. Smooth the surface with a spatula, then sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top for a perfectly genuine finish.
  9. Bake 35 minutes. Then use a stick or toothpick to check for doneness and take out of the oven if thoroughly baked. Use the paper to pull the bica out of the dish and place on a wire rack to cool.
  10. Devour immediately.
Bica blanca 2

I use a 24x30cm/9.5x12" dish and my bicas are a bit too thin, as traditional bicas are 5-6cm/2-2.5" thick. This type of cake does not really expand a lot, as the batter is already quite "expanded" because of the egg whites and the whipped cream. It keeps perfectly well for 2-3 days wrapped in plastic foil, but it rarely lasts that long...

15 comentarios:

Belinda @zomppa May 23, 2011 at 8:11 PM  

Oh this looks so lovely and light!

Foodie Ann May 23, 2011 at 9:36 PM  

The cake looks dense like the butter cake i eat....
Nice to know about Bicas and bica blanca.. cake made with egg whites and cream is new to me....

SweetSavoryPlanet May 24, 2011 at 5:21 AM  

This looks divine. So simple. I can imagine this with fresh berries!

Junia May 24, 2011 at 6:01 AM  

this looks just like angel food cake (from america). i never say bicas in spain when i lived there, but i can't wait to try and make this one day~~~ beautiful cake!

fromBAtoParis May 24, 2011 at 9:02 AM  

This is something I definitely have to try (then, yes, 3 rounds of the lake in Bois de Boulogne!) How come my Galician grandfather (restaurant owner in BA) never did this to me??!! You can't trust even the oldest generations ;D
Thanks for the recipe!!

Spicie Foodie May 25, 2011 at 12:18 AM  

Miriam your cake is gorgeous! I love the browned crumbly top, it's so unique looking. For sure I can imagine how fantastic it tastes, then worry later about burning those calories :)

Trini Altea May 25, 2011 at 9:13 PM  

Mmmmmmmmm que rico me apunto la receta. Un saludo

Miriam May 27, 2011 at 10:12 AM  

Belinda: :D
Foodie Ann: they are delicious, all of them.
SSP: great idea!
Junia: well, bicas are really very local, you won't find them out of Galicia.
Cristina: jaja, tu abuelo tenía un restaurante? Eso explica muchas cosas... ;)
Nancy: yes... the calories are countless, lol
Trini: saludos!

Luv'n Spoonfuls May 30, 2011 at 5:19 AM  

I love learning about such distinct food for a particular area. I can't wait to try this...sometimes simple is the best! Thanks for another lovely post!

Kris Ngoei May 30, 2011 at 6:37 AM  

I can see why your kids love it so much: it is so moisted and spongy, the kind of texture that is delightful, light and delicious. And especially great when the it only contains egg whites!

Thanks for sharing this great recipe :-)

Maria @ Scandi Foodie May 30, 2011 at 8:30 PM  

It looks so heavenly! I love the crackled top, beautiful!

Rabbittrick May 31, 2011 at 3:35 PM  

wow! this looks amazing. it'll be something sweet to try for the weekend! lovely.

Trix June 1, 2011 at 8:42 PM  

This does remind me of angel food cake, though I don't think angel food has cream? Cant remember ... but I like the sound of it. Yes, I would need to have some serious exercise lined up after eating this! Would be fabulous with morning coffee, mmm.

Indie.Tea June 2, 2011 at 2:24 AM  

That looks amazing! And anything with 'tons of cream'....yum!

Jamie June 11, 2011 at 1:08 PM  

I really think that simple is the best and it is definitely the kind of dessert and snack my husband prefers. And always perfect topped with fresh summer berries! I love this recipe!


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