Goxua in Basque, (pronounced go-shoo-ah), means sweet, and it is a sweet and creamy dessert from the Basque Country of northern Spain. It was invented in Vitoria by pastry chef Luis López de Sosoaga in the 1970s and is now a popular dessert in and out of the Basque Country.
A cold, layered dessert, said to be inspired by crema catalana, but goxua is also similar to the creamy Italian dessert. First, a layer of sweet whipped cream is laid down as a base in the bottom of a dish. Liquor-soaked ladyfingers are the next layer, on top of which goes creamy custard. A burnt-sugar crust coats the top, however, many cooks prefer to use caramel sauce instead. Goxua can be made in a large dish and cut into individual servings or assembled and served in individual clay dishes or bowls.
- For the Custard Layer:
- 8 oz. milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Peel of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 large egg
- For the Whipped Cream Layer:
- 3.5 oz. whipping cream
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- For the Cake Layer:
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 oz. rum
- 4 ladyfingers (or 2 sobaos or magdalenas)
- 1/4-1/3 cup granulated sugar (for crust or caramel sauce)
First, make the custard. Pour most of the milk into a medium saucepan, reserving a small amount. Add lemon peel and cinnamon stick to the pan. Place the milk on the stove over high heat.
While milk is heating, place saucepan into a medium mixing bowl and whisk in the reserved milk, making sure that the cornstarch does not form lumps. Blend well. Add 1 or 2 tbsp. sugar to the mixture and whisk again. Add the egg and beat all ingredients together.
Once the milk boils, remove from heat. Discard the lemon peel and cinnamon and allow to sit for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the corn starch mixture while stirring with a whisk. Then, pour milk mixture back into the same pan, and return it to the stove on low heat. Using a wooden spoon or whisk, stir constantly until mixture thickens a bit, then raise heat to medium-high. Continue to stir. Once it boils, it should have a thick custard consistency. Remove from heat. After 2 to 3 minutes, add the butter and stir as it melts. Set aside and allow to cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to assemble the goxua.
While custard is cooling, use an electric mixer to whip the cream to stiff peaks with 2 tablespoons sugar. Cover tightly and refrigerate.
To assemble the goxua, first, prepare the liqueur to soak the ladyfingers. Pour 1 tablespoon sugar into a small saucepan or frying pan, and add water. Place on stove over low to medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once sugar is completely dissolved and water is hot, pour in rum and bring to a boil, then immediately remove from heat.
Spoon chilled whipped cream into the bottom of individual bowls or dishes. Then, dip the lady fingers into the rum mixture, and turn over so that both sides are wet. Carefully remove the ladyfingers and place them on top of the whipped cream. (If using sobaos or magdalenas, slice in half before soaking. Spoon the chilled custard over the ladyfingers and smooth out the top using the back of the spoon. Finally, sprinkle granulated sugar over the top. Use a culinary torch to burn the sugar and create a crust. If no torch is available, drizzle a few teaspoons of caramelized sugar over the top, and serve.