I know I should save this recipe for June 24th. That’s St. John’s Day (Sant Joan in Catalan) and that day Catalunya celebrates the summer solstice. I know today’s just the first day of spring. But I couldn’t help myself. Since Odila called me a few days ago to give me the recipe, I was craving for this simple yeat delicate treat.
Coca is the Catalan word for cake. Odila is the Catalan Venezuelan mom of my girlfriend Gisela. Odi heard that I recently baked my Viennese brownies, because her daughter asked me. So, over the phone, she gave me the recipe of this coca that she bakes in her home in Caracas.
How is this related to summer and St. John? Coca de Sant Joan is the cake Catalans eat on St. John’s Day. It’s a sweet flat bread, topped with pine nuts or candied fruits or both. You won’t believe how easy it is to make it.
Here is Odi’s recipe with a few changes. Odi’s measurements are in tacitas (little coffee cups.) Because all my recipes are in regular measurement cups, I did the conversion. Her recipe calls for lime zest, but I’m committed to my Meyer lemon tree which is at its peak, so I used lemon zest.
Finally, Odi’s recipe calls for anis, the Spanish liqueur par excellence. But I didn’t have any anis, so I used absinthe which has herbal and anise notes. No need to say that since I discovered absinthe a few weeks ago —when I made The Black Swan—, I’m infatuated with the green fairy…
The combination of the aromatic absinthe notes with the soft, nutty flavor of the pine nuts makes this coca a memorable treat. You can have it warm or cold, as a dessert, snack or for breakfast with you coffee or a glass of milk. I hope you like it!
Coca de San Joan | Ingredients for 24 pieces
3 eggs, the yolks separated from the white
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. of granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
½ Tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 lemon zest
1 oz absinthe
½ cup pine nuts tossed with one Tbs.of flour
Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 6 by 9 inch glass baking mold with parchment paper. In a bowl, with an electric mixer beat the egg whites until they form peaks. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the eggs yolks with 1 cup of sugar until dissolved, 2 minutes. Add the oil, flour, baking powder, salt and milk and mix well, 2-3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and the absinthe and mix until incorporated. Add the egg whites and mix well. Pour the batter in the lined mold. Sprinkle the pine nuts on top. Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top. Bake for 7 more minutes. Cut the coca into squares.
To print the recipe click here.0