Saturday, September 17, 2016

Three-Milk Cake (Tres Leches)--an Easy and Light Version

Tres leches is a famous cake from Latin America. Last year, I tried it for the first time. It was delicious and seemed very simple, so I recently decided to replicate it. I looked up different recipes, ask a Latino friend about ingredients, and finally came up with my own version of it. Last night, I served it to a friend who considers tres leches one of her favorite cakes. She said that the best tres leches she ever had was from a South American restaurant in Chicago, but when she tried mine, she admitted that it was even better, and asked for a recipe.

As always, I made my version lighter and less sweet than the traditional recipe calls for. As a base, I used my own sponge cake, which does not contain any butter although it features in many tres leches recipes. I use this sponge cake base to make a birthday cakes. It is light and easily absorbs all kind of liquids that you wish to saturate it with.

I used exactly three milks--evaporated, condensed, and whole milk, and no heavy cream, which I only used for decoration. With all those changes, the sweetness of the cake turned out to be perfect, that is the way I like it. I served it not with candied fruits but with fresh raspberries which gave it bit of tartness and nice presentation.

Three-Milk Cake (Tres Leches)

For a 10" sponge cake:
4 large eggs, room temperature,
2/3 cup sugar,
2/3 cup all purpose flour,
1 tsp baking powder,
2 tbsp natural breadcrumbs,
1 tbsp butter.
For the three-milk mixture:
1 14-oz can evaporated milk,
1 can sweetened milk,
2/3 cup whole milk,
1 tsp vanilla extract,
1 cup heavy whipped cream,
2 tbsp sugar,
raspberries or any berries you like.

1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. Grease the bottom and the walls of a baking form with butter and dust with breadcrumbs.
3. In a bowl of a mixer place eggs and sugar. Beat until pale yellow and almost stiff.
4. Mix flour with baking powder and sieve into the egg mixture. Gently fold in until well incorporated.
5. Transfer to a baking form and bake for about 40 minutes, until set and gold on top. Let it cool completely.
6. In a large jar mix all the milks and the vanilla essence.
7. Transfer the cake to a serving plate with at least one-inch high walls. Using a wooden skewer poke the cake several times. Slowly pour over the milk mixture making sure that outside walls are also well soaked with it.

8. Cover the cake and let cool in a refrigerator overnight.
9. Whip the heavy cream with 2 tbsps of sugar until stiff. Spread on top of the cake, decorate with fruits and serve.