Torta de San Blas!

IMAG0234It is that time of year again!  Time to celebrate the fiesta of San Blas, or Saint Blaise!  In the Basque Country (and maybe elsewhere), Feb 3, the fiesta of San Blas, is celebrated with a special cake.  In towns like Abadiño, Bizkaia, where the day is one of the town’s festival days, you’ll find this cake everywhere. Txapitela, who sends out notices of Basque news and events, sent me a recipe for the cake which I’m sharing here. Enjoy!


For the dough:

  • 500 or 600 grams of flour
  • 4 whole eggs, minus one egg white
  • 50 or 75 grams of drawn butter
  • 9 tablespoons of sugar (200/250 grams)
  • 1 packet of baking powder (16 grams)
  • 9-12 drops of essence of anis

For the frosting:

  • 1 egg white
  • 125/175 grams of confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 or 4 drops of lemon juice

Beat the eggs like for making tortilla, add the sugar.

Melt the butter in a water bath, add and continue beating.

Add essence of anis, flour, and royal.

Kneed well the dough, making a ball.  Roll with a rolling pin and give the dough shape, making 1 or 2 cakes.

Put in the oven for 25/30 minutes at 190º Celsius (375 F).

While the cake is cooking:

Beat the egg white with the confectioner’s sugar and lemon.

Put it in a water bath so that it continues heating.

Pour on top of the hot cake and let it cool.

Note, I have to admit that I don’t like anis myself, so these cakes were never my favorite, but maybe with the recipe, I can tweak it to make it something else, like vanilla or something.

The image is from a photo on Picasaweb by victor at the Escuela Cocina Bilbao.

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