Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Tres Leches Cake

I asked Leighton what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday. "I don't care." I asked if he wanted his usual Boston Cream Pie or something else. "Whichever." I asked if he wanted to try something new. "It doesn't matter." 

The man is so easy to get along with, it's frustrating. 

So, what's a girl to do? Make what she wants, of course. I've been wanting to make a tres leches cake for a while now. I knew this would be perfect for his birthday for a few reasons:
  1. No chocolate. (Strange, I know, but he would live without the stuff.) 
  2. The sponge cake. (Again, no chocolate. But even better - a lighter, airier cake than most.) 
  3. The 3 milks you pour on top are reminiscent  of the flavors of custard. (Now, custard is something I could live without, but not the birthday boy.)
  4. The whipped icing. (Who would choose the light, fluffy icing over the thick, rich, overly-sweet frosting of most birthday cakes? Certainly not me. But my hubby would.)
Of course, Leighton was satisfied to try something new. Jake, on the other hand, was devastated that he and Daddy were not getting their favorite cake! Would he be won over by the tres leches???

The making of the cake was pretty uneventful . . . that is if you overlook things like Jake dropping egg yolk into the egg whites while separating them and me having to fish it out, Alyssa spilling sugar all over the counter, Alyssa spilling sugar into the egg whites prematurely. You know, stuff like that.

When you don't have a rimmed platter, you use an 11x17 inch pan. Fancy, huh? Also, the bottom of my cake stuck to the pan a little and left those beautiful marks. It's a good thing no one ever has to see how unsightly it looked.

Other than everyone reading this, that is.

Once your cake is pierced all over, slowly pour on the heavenly concoction. Allow this to soak in before icing it.

Why did I whip the cream in a small bowl with a hand-held mixer instead of my KitchenAid that does the work for me? Because I always chill the bowl and beaters in the freezer to help the whipping process. It does, however, splatter cream all over the place. It's a give-take relationship.

After the cream was thoroughly whipped, and the counter was efficiently covered, we iced the milk-soaked cake. Then, I shaved on bits of both white and milk chocolate using a vegetable peeler. 

Next came the true test. How does it taste???

In the words of the kids, it is "deeeelicious!" The cake soaks up the milk mixture beautifully. The flavor of the cake, while tasty by itself, is magnified by the milks. We used that last cup (that you're supposed to discard? That's just wrong!) to spoon a little more of the mixture onto each piece as needed. I don't even think it needs the whipped cream on top - but then everyone would see what you had to see in that picture. Visually speaking, I guess it needs the icing! Besides, Leighton and the kids really liked that part. Everyone has different tastes. 

For instance:
My cake: chocolate frosting, white chocolate filling, chocolate cake
Leighton's cake: whipped frosting, creamy milk soak, white cake 

Both are yummy! But did Jake forgive me for not making a Boston Cream pie? Did this one meet his approval? "Definitely," he said. He even asked for his birthday cake to be half tres leches and half Boston Cream. Ah, such a simple child.  

Tres Leches Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour                                 1 teaspoon vanilla
1-½ teaspoon baking powder                       ⅓ cups milk
¼ teaspoons salt                                           1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
5 whole eggs, separated                               1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sugar, divided                                    ¼ cups heavy cream

1 pint heavy cream, for whipping                3 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.
3. Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
4. Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
5. Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and carefully spread to even out.
6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool.
7. Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture - try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.
8. Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. To ice the cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable. Spread over the surface of the cake. Cut into squares and serve.
Recipe from Pionner Woman

Linked to Whatcha Making Wednesdays.
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  1. Yummy Yummy Yummy!!! What a fantastic recipe! Thank you so much for linking to Whatcha Making Wednesdays :-) Have a great week!

  2. Oh! This sounds really good, even if it's not chocolate with extra chocolate on top :)