Friday, September 27, 2013

Tres Leches...but which ones?!

I changed divisions within the pediatric department in July.  It's not what I originally thought I'd be doing but it was definitely an opportunity given to be by God!  I have been working in the pediatric neurology clinic and the people I work with are great!  My division chair is so helpful and encouraging, always available to help me and so supportive of family.  One of the other physicians I had worked with in the past and so was excited to work with him again.  He is a great teach, hilarious, and helpful.  The whole department is like a family...see my crazy and fun co-workers?!
  So, when it was Brad's birthday, we all got together for lunch.  I decided that was the perfect time to make my Daring Baker challenge for the month...a Tres Leches cake!  Inma of la Galletika was our Sept. 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and WOW did she bring us something decadent and delicious! Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake, creamy yet airy, super moist but not soggy.. just plain delish!

The cake was very easy to make and turned out great.  I used a springform pan rather than a regular cake pan.  I think this just makes it easier to remove and cut.  When I told everyone that I made a tres leches cake I was immediately asked what the three milks were.  Brad's guess:  goat, cow, and...well, something wrong!  The recipe calls for evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and milk (though I used almond milk).  Be careful, though, when you make the syrup....THIS is what happens if it overflows!
 I decided to use cinnamon to flavor the cake, but I was a little unsure about what to use for the filling.  All the examples I saw used fruit but I didn't know what people would want...and was using this for Brad's birthday cake.  So...I decided to make a nutella cream filling.  I just took a half cup of nutella and mixed it with some of the whipped cream I made for the outside.  I thought it turned out good. Of course, David's comment was that you couldn't taste the nutella.  Alas! 
Everyone at the office liked it.  The description was "like tiramisu without the coffee."  Brad even said that, after having five cakes that day, this cake was his favorite!  Thanks, Inma, for such a delicious challenge!

Classic Three Milks Cake:

Servings: 12
Ingredients for the vanilla sponge cake
5 large eggs (separated)
½ cup (120 ml) (4 oz) (125 gm) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) of vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) (5 oz) (140gm) all-purpose (plain) flour (sifted)
For three milks syrup
1 can (14 oz) (400 gm) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 oz) (340 gm) evaporated milk
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream (about 35% fat) or 1 cup of half & half or 1 cup milk
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons (10 ml) rum (or other flavoring)
Topping and filling
2 cups (500 ml) of whipping cream (about 30% fat)
½ cup (120 ml) (4 oz) (125 gm) sugar
Canned or fresh fruit (to fill and decorate the cake)
Directions For the Sponge Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Prepare a square 9”x9” (23cmx23 cm) pan or 9” (23 cm) round cake pan
  2. Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
  3. Beat the egg whites on medium speed, 3 - 5 minutes.
  4. When soft peaks form slowly add the sugar in small batches.
  5. Whip until stiff peaks form about 5 minutes. Set aside.  
  6. In a medium bowl beat egg yolks at medium-high speed for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the egg yolks become pale colored, creamy and puffy. (OR hand beat...yes sir I did!)Stir in vanilla.
  7. Pour the egg yolks over the egg whites, gently fold until just combined trying not to lose any volume from the mixture.
  8. Fold in the flour little by little in the form of rain. Mix until just combined (over-beating will result in a denser, flatter cake).
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared 9”x9” (23cmx23 cm) square cake pan or 9” (23 cm) round cake pan.
  10. Bake in the preheated moderate oven for 25 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean
  11. Let it cool.
Three milks syrup
  1. In a saucepan add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and cinnamon stick, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Remove it and let it cool.
  2. Once it is cool, add the rum or any other flavoring you are using
  3. Gradually brush all the milk soaking liquid into all sides of the cake (including the cut surfaces) until all absorbed. Best to rest the cake in the fridge overnight to complete the soaking process. 
  1. Whip the cream, when soft peaks form add the sugar little by little, continue whipping until stiff peaks form about 2 mins. 
Cut the cooled cake in half and place the bottom half on a cake plate.  Poke with a fork to allow the cake to absorb the milk syrup.  Spoon the syrup over the cake so that it is soaked!  Top the bottom layer with your desired filling.  Top with the second layer of cake.  Poke holes in that layer and spoon with syrup until soaked!  Cover with whipped cream topping.  Refrigerate for at least an hour...longer is better!  Enjoy!

1 comment:

Korena said...

"Like tiramisu but without the coffee" is a great description for this cake! And if yours won out over 4 other cakes, then big congrats!!