Monday, June 1, 2015

Tres Leches Cake

  Are you familiar with a Tres Leches cake? Tres Leches (which means three milks) is basically a sponge cake that is soaked with a sweet milk mixture containing 3 kinds of milk: Evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream. (mmm, I swear I could put that milk sauce on anything!) I first learned of this recipe a few years ago and kind of forgot about it. Then my sister in law, Karen, made it for a family event, (and everyone loved it), and I knew I needed to hop to it. Cut to a Mexican themed dinner night at my place a few weeks later and I had the perfect excuse to make it. (Not that I ever need an excuse to bake a cake!)
 Well, everyone loved it at my Mexican dinner night, and I also brought some to Chris and Claire. Big hits all around! I said to Chris "So, I'm guessing I should make this again soon?" He quickly gave me a look that said "Uh, ya THINK????" LOL yes, Chris, I will make it again soon. Promise!
 It's really simple to make and uses basic ingredients that you might already have on hand. Oh, and you make it in advance, so it's a time saver too!
Hope you'll give it a try!

1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6 large eggs, separated
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

Milk Sauce:
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy cream

Whipped Cream Topping
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

 Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon shortening. Add 1 tablespoon flour to the greased pan and shake it around to coat entire pan with flour. Shake out excess flour. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low and gradually add sugar with mixer running, beating until stiff peaks form.
Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each egg is added.
In a small mixing bowl, sift together flour and baking powder.
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to batter in stages, alternating with whole milk, beginning and ending with flour. (Do this quickly so that batter does not lose its volume.) Pour batter into prepared pan and place in oven.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
In a blender, combine milk sauce ingredients and blend on high for 45 seconds.
Use a toothpick or skewer to poke holes in cake, and slowly pour milk mixture over warm cake. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, beat whipped cream topping ingredients except cinnamon with a mixer until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream over chilled cake. Dust with cinnamon. Served chilled.

I didn't grease and flour the pan. I just used a baking spray that has flour in it. SO much easier!
When it's time to pour the milk mixture over the cake, you're gonna think "there's no way in hell all this milk sauce is gonna go into this cake." but trust me! It will! Just pour slowly and let it sink in.
The cinnamon it one of my favorite things about this cake. It gives you the same sort of vibe you get from rice pudding, sweet cream and cinnamon. SO good! You can serve it just as is, or with any kind of ripe fresh fruit, such as pineapple or strawberries. You could also serve it with banana slices and a sprinkle of toasted coconut. LOVE that.

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