In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I decided to make a Tres Leches Cake. This is a popular dessert in Mexico, and the recipe is believed to have originated there. I like to serve mine with a fresh strawberry sauce, but maraschino cherries are quite popular as well.
This cake is soaked in three different milks (tres leches), including evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and cream. Typically, this cake is topped with whipped cream as a kind of frosting. The cake itself is a sponge cake; the light, airy quality of the cake allows it to soak up the milk mixture. Whipping the eggs whites until they reach stiff peaks then gently folding them into the batter ensures a light, fluffy cake.
Rather than turn the cake out onto a platter, I prefer to soak and served the cake in the pan I bake it in. Therefore, I select a ceramic 9 by 13 pan that I think looks pretty. After soaking and frosting the cake, I cut out the squares and spoon on the strawberry sauce onto individual slices.
This is a great cake for fans of moist cakes and milk; it’s one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it!
1 and 2/3 cups all-purpose four
1/2 cup of softened butter
1 teaspoon of baking powder
5 eggs, separated and at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
2/3 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 12 ounce can of evaporated milk
1 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Prepare a 9 by 13 pan with Baker’s joy. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Separate the eggs- make sure the whites go into a very clean bowl.
In another bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Separate the eggs- make sure the whites go into a very clean bowl. Add the egg yolks one at a time to the sugar/ butter mixture. Add the milk, vanilla and salt and mix well.
Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients gently until just combined. Set aside.
Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. While running the mixer, pour in the remains 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until the eggs whites form stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped egg white into the batter until no white stress remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out dry. Allow the cake to cool.
Combine the heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla bean paste in a large measuring cup (with a spout to make pouring easy). When the cake is cool, prick the cake all over with a fork or a wooden skewer. Drizzle the milk mixture over the cake slowly, allowing it to absorb. Cover the cake with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour or overnight is fine.
Before serving, make the frosting. Beat together the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste until you are just shy of firm peaks- you want the cream thick and spreadable. Spread generously over the top of the cake, cut and serve with a cherry or the strawberry sauce.
3 cups of fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
The juice of half a lemon
Cut the strawberries into slices. Sprinkle over the sugar (use less if your strawberries are sweet) and lemon juice. Set the berries aside for 20 minutes, until they soften and release some of their juices. Mash about half of the berries with a potato masher and stir to mix. Use right away.