Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tres Leches Cake (Three Milk Cake)

So I decided to go pink on Valentine's Day.

Real pink.

As in... Pink eye pink. Or should I say blood red.

Yeah. A box of chocolates has never been more needed.

It wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't have to go to the ER two days before Valentine's Day and have my eye forced open by a doctor because it was swollen shut. I was literally blind for the entirety of Saturday. I have never felt so helpless in my life before. You don't realize how much you need your eyes to do everything until you have nothing anymore.

So unfortunately, I spent my Valentine's Day inside, making this delicious Three Milk Cake.

In other words, it wasn't that bad. Plus, eye pain is the perfect excuse for second helpings of anything.

"But sweetie, my eye likes calories... it needs the energy to feel better!"

My boyfriend totally fell for it.
My doctor... ehh, not so much.

But what do they know anyway.

Tres Leches Cake, or Three Milk Cake, is a dessert quite popular in Latin America. Not only is it ridiculously easy but it's ridiculously delicious and most of the ingredients are pantry staples. I made it for my boyfriends mother, whose birthday falls on Valentine's Day. When I asked her what she wanted, it seemed to be a tie between a cheesecake and Tres Leches Cake.

Obviously, if she picked this over cheesecake, that says something.

My favorite part about this cake is the fact that it's a sponge and it literally does not dry out. Even if you leave it at room temperature or leave a piece uncovered in the fridge on accident, you wont have a dried out piece of cake. It stays moist and delicious, usually with a small pool of milk underneath. And the whipped cream on top stays soft and fluffy. Just the way it's suppose to be.

If you ever make a dessert for any Puerto Rican, Mexican, Honduran, etc, in your life, I guarantee you they will love it if you bring this to their house as a dessert. Just make sure you bring more than one.

Us hispanics like our food in bulk.

Don't judge.

(P.S. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT buy premade whipped topping for this cake. It will not taste the same. If you're gonna make the cake, you gotta go with homemade topping.)

Tres Leches Cake
(adapted from the Pioneer Woman Cooks)

1 cup All-purpose Flour
1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
5 whole Eggs
1 cup Sugar, Divided
1 teaspoon Vanilla
⅓ cups Milk
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
¼ cups Heavy Cream

1 pint Heavy Cream, For Whipping
5 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 spread to even out the surface.

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. While cake is cooling, stick your mixing bowl and your spinners (whether its from a kitchenaid or handmixer) into the freezer along with the heavy cream for the whipped topping.

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.

9. To ice the cake, take out your thoroughly chilled mixing bowl and spinners and whip 1 pint heavy cream with 5 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.

10. Spread over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with whole or chopped maraschino cherries. Cut into squares and serve.


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