You Gonna Eat All That?

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Tres Leches Cake

I get to kill three birds with one stone or in this case, cake.

Bird #1: Our staff knitting group. Every other Friday after work, a bunch of us get together to knit. Except me, I cross stitch but they let me join in anyway. Part of the get together is dinner. It usually rotates between each of us with one person bringing an entree, someone bringing a salad and of course a dessert. We met yesterday and I offered to bring dessert.

Bird #2: The Virtual Recipe Club - Most Requested Recipe Edition
Alysha from The Savory Notebook will be collecting our most popular recipes, the ones you always get asked to make, the ones that you have to write down because everyone wants to make themselves.


Bird #3: Sugar High Friday.
Chandra from Lick the Spoon is hosting this event for April. The twist to this edition.....Booze. She's lookin' for drunken desserts. And while she asked that we try to stay away from the ever popular rum cake, mine entry is a cake, it has rum in it but it ain't no rum cake. Rum is a player in the recipe but it's not the star of the show.

So what is my amazing bird killing dessert?
Tres Leches Cake. A rich, succulent, decadent, outragously good dessert. Translated, tres leches means three milks. These milks are sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream. The milks are mixed together with some rum to add a nice kick to the cake. You slowly pour the milk mixture over the top of the baked cake and let is soak in. Yum. I said is was rich, didn't I?You can see a little bit of the milk mixture pooling around the edge of the platter. It eventually will soak up into the cake.

Some people like to frost the cake with a thin meringue like topping while others pour caramel sauce over slices of this little gem. Some do both. Me, I prefer mine au natural, naked. It's so rich and tastes so good all by itself that I can't imagine adding more decadence to the party. But who am I to argue....eat it anyway you like, just leave me a piece.

Tres Leches Cake
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs, separated
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

1 (12 to 14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 (12-14 ounce) can evaporated milk
4 tablespoons light rum

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour a 9 x 13 baking dish. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Separate the egg yolks and whites. Beat the whites until very foamy and frothy. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer.
Continue mixing and slowly add the milk. Then start adding the flour mixture, a little at a time, until all the flour is incorporated and the batter is smooth. Finally, use a spatula to gently fold in the beaten egg whites until completely mixed.

Pour batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. Allow cake to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto a jelly roll pan or a baking tray with a raised edge on it . Use a fork to repeatedly pierce the top of the cake.

Make the milk syrup by whisking together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and rum in a mixing bowl, until well blended. Pour syrup over the cake a little at a time, until it soaks through. Keep doing this until most of the milk syrup is absorbed. You may have a pool of syrup around the bottom of the cake, that's ok as it will gradually soak in. Cover the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours before frosting.


If you want to make the meringue frosting, here's the recipe:

Frosting
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup

Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar in a large bowl until they form stiff peaks. Set aside. In a separate pan, mix the water, sugar, and corn syrup. Cook over a high heat, stirring constantly until a candy thermometer reads 230°F.

Remove from heat. While beating the egg whites with an electric mixer, immediately pour the hot syrup into the egg whites; continue beating for about five minutes. Let frosting cool in refrigerator. With a wet spatula, spread a thick layer of the frosting on the cake.

And if you REALLY want to be decadent, here's the caramel sauce recipe:


Caramel Sauce
5 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar

1 vanilla bean, split
1 teaspoon baking soda

Place the milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and allow skin to form on top. Do not stir. The skin will thicken and puff up. Reduce heat to medium and remove the skin. Increase heat to medium-high and repeat the process 3 times.

Add the sugar and vanilla bean, and stir until the sugar has melted, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in the baking soda. Simmer milk, stirring often, but taking care not to break the film of cooked milk forming, on the inside of the pan. Simmer, skimming the foam (not skin) until reduced by half, about 1 hour.

Reduce the heat to very low and simmer for another 3 and 1/2 hours, stirring and skimming foam occasionally. The mixture will brown as it cooks.

Strain the completely cooked mixture through a sieve into a bowl, cover and refrigerate. Makes about 1 1/2 cups sauce.

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22 Comments:

Anonymous sher said...

That looks fabulous. And I agree with you about it needing nothing else. I've never had that cake, but I can tell that it's delicious as is. I'll be making that sometime in the future!

10:50 AM  
Blogger s'kat said...

Wow, that is utterly drool-worthy! Thanks for sharing such a fabulous recipe.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Suburban Tasteland said...

I'm not a big cake person, but I do love a good tres leches cake. In fact, we were splitting a piece of tres leches cake just the other week, and in the course of plowing through it, we were having a debate over what the third milk might be. There's an upscale bakery in Dallas called La Duni that offers quatro leches cake, but then, that's probably just a vulgar display of power.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cuatro leches is very common in Miami. The fourth milk is dulce de leche. Yes, decadent.

In Old Town, Cafe Salsa has a good tres leches. Most other places, it is much too sweet.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Sylvie said...

I am going to have to try this recipe. It looks sooo good and moist. I also like the idea of the dulce de leche as the 4th leche.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Chan said...

good lord this looks heavenly. my husband LOVES LOVES LOVES tres leche so I have to absolutley thy this one! Great entry!!
Cheers....
Chan

10:51 PM  
Blogger ScottE. said...

I'm looking forward to trying this out! I have to make sure it's when I have plenty of guests to feed or else I'll be eating up the remaining cake myself...in the dark, by myself! Not a pleasant sight I'm sure!

8:53 AM  
Blogger Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

But if you eat it in the dark you can't see the calories.....thus making it a low-cal dessert. hehehe

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Ivonne said...

Beautiful!

I've been wanting to make Tres Leches cake for a long time. Thanks for satisfying my craving!

4:23 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Yum! I think I need to try this. Bird killing cake indeed! I would probably eat the whole thing myself and it would be a Christine Killing cake!

6:53 PM  
Blogger Georgia said...

Wow I have never come across a cake like this before. I'll have to give it a go. Great post!

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Tania said...

Looks and sounds amazing! Being a fiend for caramel, I'd probably have to make the sauce, too ... just to see what it tastes like (yeah, right)! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

2:28 PM  
Anonymous VICTOR HUGO said...

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A TRUE NICARAUENSE TRES LECHE, BAKE THE CAKE LIKE A MUFFIN SIZE BUN; AFTER BAKED AND COOLED PLACE THE TRES LECHE MUFFIN IN A SMALL BOWL AND POUR THE MILKS IN THE CUP WITH THE BREAD UNTIL IT'S 1/4 HIGH. PLACE BACK IN THE REFRIGERATOR FOR 1 HOUR.

12:55 AM  
Anonymous mary said...

i searched every where for a recipe for this cake it is fabulous!!

I am making it for fathers day and am sure it will be a hit!

your steps are so easy to follow, thanks!

9:25 AM  
Blogger Subsannatrix said...

I plan to make this cake tonight and cram the entire thing into my face as rapidly as possible.

12:56 PM  
Blogger s'kat said...

The drool-worthiness has been confirmed- thanks!

11:48 AM  
Blogger Mags said...

Tres leches is absolutely my favorite cake in the entire world, and like you, I prefer it nekkid.

I didn't know that some places made quatro leche cakes. Now I MUST have some of that.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes i also made tres leche cake n quatro but i used coconut milk in stead uhmm it was so good

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What size cake pan is that? the other recipes called for a 9X13 but yours looks so much prettier and I like the idea of "turning it out". Let me know it looks like a small bunt?

5:25 PM  
Blogger Mykl said...

I have made something similar with coconut milk rather than the evaporated milk. Also, topping with whipped cream and coconut flakes. I think that the eggwhite frosting would be great with coconut. It always gets eaten at my church dinners.

12:52 AM  
Blogger Polly said...

What did you bake your cake in? I want mine to look like THAT, not like the 9 x 13 size. Yours in gorgeous. I've always cheated and used a cake mix but you've inspired me to bake from scratch!

7:27 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I used two round glass casserole dishes instead of the other pan mentioned in the recipe.

You can use any number of different pans for this cake, just adjust the cooking time.

7:57 AM  

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