Salvadoran Marquesote is a light, delicious and elegant cake. Because is quite spongy, it is perfect to dunk in your icy horchata, coffee or hot chocolate, or use a a base for a Tres Leches Cake. In El Salvador, this is also another favorite at special gatherings and religious occasions, such as First Communions and Baptisms.
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated white sugar
5 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Combine the cup of sifted flour with the baking powder and salt, re-sift everything, and set aside.
Grease a 9-inch round, or 9 x 7-inch rectangular pan, or an 8-inch square pan.
Beat the yolks in a small bowl, with a whisk or fork, for about 2 minutes until very light and pale in color. After beating, add in the lemon zest and lemon juice and mix or whisk for 10 seconds. Set aside.
Whip the egg whites in a large bowl, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until stiff but not dry.
Into the whipped egg whites, gradually fold in ⅓ of the sifted flour mixture, ⅓ of the yolk mixture, and ⅓ of the sugar, and mix for 20 seconds. Repeat this process until all ingredients are incorporated, then continue mixing for 2 more minutes.
Pour evenly into the greased pan. Bake at 350ºF for 25 to 30 minutes or until firm and the top is golden. Remove immediately and carefully from pan, and place on a rack to cool.