Monday, April 28, 2014

Tres Leches Cake (Three Milk Cake)


Tres Leches Cake is a sponge cake that is soaked in three milks: Sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cream or half and half.  I knew of this cake but had never eaten it before now.  And, while I almost never eat sweets, I see myself eating way too much of this cake.  You'll be hooked.  

As you can see in the picture, I did mine as a layer cake just to make a pretty picture.  But it is quite messy, and the milks will run out a little more as it chills.  I think the best and easiest way to make this cake, unless you want a fancy presentation, is to bake it in a 9 x 13 pan so that the liquid stays in the pan and not in the fridge.  And you will need a mixer for this cake or some really strong arms to beat egg whites.  Enjoy!

TRES LECHES CAKE
FOR THE CAKE:
8 eggs, separated
2 C flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 C sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

FOR THE SOAK:
1 can evaporated milk (12 ounce)
1 C heavy cream or half and half
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM:
2 C heavy cream
1/2 C powdered sugar

16-ounce container strawberries, sliced

Generously grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan (or two 8-inch round pans) very well.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the egg whites for about a minute on high in the mixer. Leaving the mixer on high, slowly pour in the sugar while the mixer is running.  Beat egg whites until they are at stiff peaks. Whisk egg yolks together by hand for about a minute.  Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the egg whites until it is incorporated into the egg whites.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake about 20-25 minutes or until done in the center.  Place on a rack and let it cool completely.

If you are using the 9 x 13 pan, you can leave the cake in the pan.  If you are going to layer the cake, remove the layers from the pans and put on a sheet pan to soak the cakes. Whisk together the soaking ingredients.  Poke some holes in the top of the cake(s) with a fork.  Pour the sauce over the cake(s).  Let it soak up for about 15-20 minutes at room temperature.

Put the heavy cream and powdered sugar into the bowl of a mixer and beat on high until the cream is stiff.  You can spread the cream onto the 9 x 13 cake and garnish with the strawberries.  If you are layering the cakes, put the bottom layer on a dish with high sides (it will be very hard to move, so carefully pick it up) so the milk soak can run out without running off into the fridge.  You can pipe or spread the whipped cream onto the bottom layer, then garnish with strawberries.  Repeat with the top layer.

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