Inma was our Sept. 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and WOW did she bring us something decadent and delicious! Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake, creamy yet airy, super moist but not soggy… just plain delish!
It’s been over a year – yikes – since I’ve completed a Daring Bakers Challenge… BAD MOMMY! At the first of the month I saw this recipe and knew it was one I wanted to try. Like many of the Daring Bakers Challenges I had many moments of doubt during the process, but again as always, it turned out perfectly.
It turns out that it’s not my favourite cake, but it is a very popular one in Central and South America, although Wikipedia tells me that the origins of the cake are disputed. I love how Daring Bakers takes me all around the world and this cake was a great example of the global love for baking.
Here’s how I made it…
Tres Leches Cake
- 5 large eggs (separated)
- ½ cup (120 ml) (4 oz) (125 gm) sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240 ml) (5 oz) (140gm) all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
For the milk syrup
- 1 can (14 oz) (400 gm) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can (12 oz) (340 gm) evaporated milk
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
- 1 cinnamon stick (I forgot to pick up so I added about 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon)
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) rum (I was reaching for the rum and then decided to use Amaretto instead)
For the topping
- 1 cup whipping cream, whipped with
- 1/4 cup sugar
Get the cake started first… whip the egg whites on medium high speed for a few minutes and add in the sugar gradually and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Now, beat the yolks, also on medium high, until they are light in colour and texture. Mix in vanilla. Pour the yolks over the whites and using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold it in very gently, making sure not to deflate the whites much. Once they are just incorporated, sprinkle the flour gently over the eggs and then again, fold it in gently until combined, but taking care not to deflate the whites much. Smooth batter into a greased and floured 9″ cake pan (I used a springform because I was scared, hehe). Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.
While the cake is baking, mix together your three milks in a medium saucepan. Slowly bring to a boil (I tried a bit too quick and found out that sweetened condensed milk burns like a motha) and let it simmer slowly for 5 minutes. Once it cools a bit, stir in your booze and allow it to cool.
Once the cake is cool (ish), poke it all over with a sharp knife or a skewer and (at this point I popped it back in the cake pan…) start pouring the milk over the cake. Yes, this cake is supposed to drink all that milk! I stopped with about a cup left, but realized the next day I could have poured it. You have to do this gradually, so pour some more over the cake every 15 minutes for an hour or so. Cover pan with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 24 hours.
Whip the remaining cream and sugar and use it to frost the cold cake, and garnish with fruit if desired. You could also slice the cake in half and fill it with whipped cream and fruit as well… you’d slice it before you start soaking it in milk.