The weather today was perfect, such a beautiful day in the middle of winter. But then leave it up to North Carolina to have 10 degrees one week and almost 70’s the second. In honor of beautiful weather and in anticipation of spring I decided to make Tres Leches. I have actually never been a fan of this cake, I never understood the concept of eating cake drenched in milk. I started to look for a recipe for this cake almost a year and half ago, for my good friends birthday. He is not a fan of desserts much, but mentioned he really likes Tres Leches. So, I decided to make this cake for him on his birthday in 2013, given life being as busy as it was and still is; I didn’t get around to making it. Also, all the recipes I read in the book, online or on blogs seemed so complicated that it kept me away from making it. So that year I decided to do a search for the best Tres Leches in the RTP area and call it a day. Needless to say, that cake was not even close to being Tres Leches. There was hardly any leche in that cake, but considering the effort he was kind enough to eat it.
I felt rather guilty for not delivering to a friend, though he didn’t care. So the search continued, but I missed the deadline for his birthday again in 2014. I however was determined that I was to make this cake for him this year even if I am a week or two late. As they say when you want something the whole universe conspires to make it happen 😉 I was in flight, and finally get around to catching up with my food magazines. The first one I flip (I always flip and read my magazines last page to first – don’t judge!) and the last page of the F&W magazines was the recipe for Tres Leches. I took that as a hint (more like a slap on my face) and thought hmmm…this looks easy. It could also be that I was a little woozy in my thinking giving I was up in the air. But, seriously how can you go wrong with Jose Andres recipe? This is one of the most easiest cakes I have met, and one that is a hit with the family. If you know that non dessert loving friend of yours gobbles it up with praises; and your only chocolate eating niece inhales the white looking cake. It is definitely good. This recipe is also available on the website, and was printed in Food and Wine December 2014. I have omitted rum (as kids were eating it) and added a little vanilla extract to take care of the eggy flavor. Make the cake and enjoy!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan and dust with flour. In a medium bowl, combine the cream, condensed milk, vanilla extract and 1 1/2 cups of the evaporated milk and whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.
- In a small bowl, sift the 1 cup of flour with the baking powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the eggs at medium speed until frothy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and beat for 30 seconds after each addition. Continue beating until the mixture is thick and forms a ribbon when the whisk is lifted, about 10 minutes (this is a very crucial step, most people aka me, won’t have patience for this. But make sure the egg forms the ribbons before you add the flour to it). At low speed, gently add the flour mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of evaporated milk in 3 alternating batches.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cake is golden and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool for 15 minutes.
- Using a cake tester or fork, poke holes all over the top of the cake. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of the chilled milk mixture all over the cake and let stand until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat with the remaining milk mixture in 1/2-cup increments. Cover and refrigerate the cake overnight before serving.
Little hands helping with the flour sifting Ignore the mess in the back, but baking makes us very happy.
I served my piece of the cake with some whipped cream and raspberries, left the rest of the cake simple as family is not a fan of whipped cream. It is entirely up to you if you would like to top it with ice cream, hot fudge, heck even coffee I think a little coffee next time with the tres leches would be good too. Time to enjoy hard days work, and soak up smiles from the brats. Truly baking and cooking is only good if you have someone to share it with. The smiles on little faces make it all worth it.