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.
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 180º-200ºC/356º-392ºF, depending on the type of heating, either traditional or air convection.
- 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…
- Measure the flour and set aside.
- Measure the sugar.
- 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.
- When the meringue is stiff, set the speed to low and add the flour by the spoonful while beating.
- Whip the cream to soft peaks. Add it to the meringue-flour mixture and mix carefully and gently with a spatula.
- 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.
- 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.
- Devour immediately.
I use a 24x30cm/9.5×12″ 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…