Catalonians enjoy this sweet flat bread on the feast of Saint John. The glacé cherries, crystallised ginger and pine nuts give this cake a pretty, jewelled look. Coca – the Catalan word for ‘cake’ – is perfect with tea, served warm or cold.
- 200 ml warm milk
- 2 x 7 g sachets dried yeast
- 500 g (3⅓ cups) plain flour
- 125 g (½ cup) caster sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 egg, lightly beaten, plus 1 egg yolk, beaten, to brush
- 50 g unsalted butter, melted
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 2 tbsp vanillin sugar (see Note)
- 2 tbsp crystallised ginger (see Note)
- 2 tbsp glacé cherries (see Note)
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Combine milk and yeast. Leave in a warm place for 10 minutes or until the mixture bubbles.
Combine flour, sugar, zest and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and gradually stir in milk mixture, 1 egg, butter, oil and enough warm water to form a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and glossy. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Turn dough out onto a lined oven tray. Gently shape dough to form a 27 cm x 32 cm oval. Brush with egg yolk, sprinkle with vanillin sugar and decorate with ginger, cherries and pine nuts. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and cake is light golden.
• Vanillin sugar is slightly bitter in taste; substitute caster sugar.
• If you like, substitute candied fruits of your choice for the ginger and cherries.
Photography by John Laurie
As seen in Feast magazine, November 2011, Issue 3. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.