Friday, August 10, 2012

Mucho gusto, pastel de tres leches

Have I really not posted anything new since February?! Good gawd! It's true, my farmers' markets have been keeping me busy this season, but occasionally I have found time to bake something other than tartlets. And so finally, a post...

My most recent non-tartlet dessert attempt was a tres leches cake that I brought to a taco-themed get-together. Traditionally, it's a sponge cake that's soaked in evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream, but this recipe suggests the use of whole milk in lieu of the heavy cream. I found very little difference in flavor and texture; it was just as rich, dense and delicious.

I used a 9" metal cake pan instead of a baking dish. If you choose to do the same, you will need to decrease your baking time. My cake was ready in about 25 minutes instead of the 30 to 35 that is noted in the recipe.

By not having access to my DSLR camera, I had to resort to using my iPhone and Instagram (my newest iPhone app obsession) for the photograph...not too shabby, eh?

Tres Leches Cake
Adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled, plus more for baking dish
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 cups fresh fruit (optional), such as oranges or berries, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs and 3/4 cup sugar on high until pale and thick, about 4 minutes. Add vanilla and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat to combine. With a rubber spatula, fold in melted butter until incorporated. Transfer batter to dish and bake until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating dish halfway through.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milks. Poke warm cake all over with a wooden skewer or toothpick, then pour milk mixture over top and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Whip cream and 1/4 cup sugar to medium peaks. To serve, spread whipped cream evenly over cooled cake. Top with fruit if desired.

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