Monday, October 24, 2011

33. Tres Leche Cake

I find this particular challenge from my top 100 list very interesting.   Most of the items on my list are things I have tasted and want to make myself or things I have made before, but I want to experience in a whole new way.  This cake however, I have never tasted.

I have always been intrigued by this cake, every since I took elementary Spanish in high school and I learned “Yo quiero bizcocho de tres leche.”  A cake with three milks, is that even possible?  I did not even know three milks existed at that time.  I assumed one was goat’s milk and immediately decided I did not need to taste this cake.

As I got older and I started to explore new avenues, like in the last year, I decided that I wanted to give this beloved cake a (skeptical) try.

I ended up making this cake for the henna party I was going to make the Spiced Pumpkin Bundt Cake for.  I figured with the amount of decadence in this cake, not to mention the amaretto, it is comfort food. Right? Right.  So, this cake also become an addition to Yae’s Wedding Event dessert series.

The sponge whipped up too easily and baked with no problem.  After cooling, the sponge looked like it was just waiting to absorb the milk glaze.  The sponge was super absorbent and could easily handle all of the glaze produced by the recipe.  I being the nervous nelly that I am, did not use all of the glaze, just in case.

To frost this cake I used a stabilized whipped cream (w/o gelatin) recipe that I have used in the past.  Lastly, as is traditional (I assume from all my internet searching), I topped the cake with some cherries for a pop of color.  I think a fresh cherry would be the perfect tart sweetness to garnish the top, but right now it is not cherry season.  Note to self and you, dear reader, if it is fresh fruit season, I would highly recommend a fresh, less sweet garnish.

Oh my, sugar high, pumpkin pie, was this cake good.  (That is my new phrase when something is more than yummy!)  I did not think I would like the taste of milk nor the texture of soggy cake, but I was wrong.  The flavor of the milk is complex and the addition of amaretto is a great touch.  Plus, this cake was not soggy at all.  The composition of the cake was made to absorb the milk yet not get soggy.  Genius!

The ladies at the partying were damning me for metaphorically shoving copious quantities of cake in their mouths, meaning that is was so good they couldn’t help but eat it, and eat some more, and eat some MORE!  I think women willing to eat a small child’s weigh in cake a week before putting on formal dresses for a wedding tells you just how good this cake was :-)

Tres Leche Cake

Adapted from Veronica’s Cornucopia

Sponge Cake Ingredients:
5 extra-large eggs, separated
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 tsp vanilla

Milky Goodness Ingredients:
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 TBS Amaretto

Whipped Cream for Frosting (recipe at bottom of the linked post)

Preheat oven to 350F.

1. Whip egg whites to a soft peak stage. Add in sugar slowly until stiff peaks form. You will have to work quickly (without hurting egg whites), as it is a lot of sugar to add in a short amount of time.

2. Beat in egg whites one by one until just incorporated, fully.

3. Combine milk and vanilla in a measuring cup.

4. Combine flour and baking powder in separate bowl.

5. Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternating, starting and ending with flour.

6. Spray with Pam with flour (or similar spray) a 9x13inch pan that is okay for oven and serving.

7. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until golden brown and a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

8. Once cake is out the oven, let it cool for 30 minutes before poking it all over with a skewer to create little holes.

9. Let cake continue to cool completely.

10. Make milky goodness by combining all milks with a whisk.

11. Slowly pour the milky goodness over the entire cake. Be sure to saturate the edges of the cake; they tend to be the dryest. If the milk start to puddle wait a few minutes to let it absorb and then continue to pour the milky goodness over the cake. The cake will be able to absorb the entire mixture, but use as much as you are comfortable with.

12. Cover with parchment and foil (or other non-stick material). Refrigerate the cake for at least four hours, but over night is better.

13. Whip up a simple whipped cream and slather over the entire cake.

14. Garnish with cherries or other fruit, if desired.

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