May 4, 2014

Tres Leches Cake

Need a delicious cake to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (or any occasion for that matter)?  You've got to try this Tres Leches Cake from Cook's Country.   If you're not familiar with this Mexican dessert it's a sponge cake that is soaked in three types of "milk" (heavy cream, condensed milk and evaporated milk) and frosted with lightly sweetened whipped cream. 

I'm not a fan of versions that are completely drenched in milk; so much so they leave a puddle of liquid on your plate.   Rather, I prefer mine to be moist, not mushy.  This recipe gets it right.  

I've included the full recipe here which makes a 9x13 inch cake, but for the blog I made half the recipe and baked it in an 8x3 inch round cake pan.   Came out great!  

Note: Be sure to use all the milk mixture when you soak the baked cake.  I didn't (had about 1/4 cup of the liquid leftover) and found that I had a few dry pockets in the cake.   

Tres Leches Cake

Makes one 9x13 inch cake

Milk Mixture
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the milk mixture: Pour condensed milk into large microwave-safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on low power, stirring and replacing plastic every 3 to 5 minutes, until slightly darkened and thickened, 9 to 15 minutes. Remove from microwave and slowly whisk in evaporated milk, cream, and vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.
For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in bowl. Heat butter and milk in small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted; set aside off heat. 
With electric mixer on medium speed, beat eggs in large bowl for about 30 seconds, then slowly add sugar until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until egg mixture is very thick and glossy, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly mix in melted butter mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, scraping down bowl as necessary, then mix on medium speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Using rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.
Using skewer, poke holes at 1/2-inch intervals in top of cake. Slowly pour milk mixture over cake until completely absorbed. Let sit at room temperature 15 minutes, then refrigerate uncovered 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
For the frosting: Remove cake from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat heavy cream, corn syrup, and vanilla to soft peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. Frost cake and slice into 3-inch squares. Serve. (The assembled cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)



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