Howdy everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the weekend as much as I did. This weekend was full of family fun and relaxation. I spent my whole day Saturday with some of my family members, in particular, my aunt, uncle, and three cousins, whom I never get to see, soooo needless to say I was very excited to get to spend time with my loves. All this talk of family brings me to explain the dish of the day, Tres Leches. You see, it all started two years ago when I was at Fiesta. Now listen…I never shop at Fiesta, usually because they aren’t the cleanest super markets and because I have bad childhood memories of shopping at Fiesta and being encountered by supermarket creepers. Anyways, on that day Fiesta was my last option and surprisingly, this Fiesta was very clean and free of supermarket creepers. As I was quickly shoving fruits and veggies into my shopping cart, I couldn’t help but notice the sweet smell coming from the panaderia. My body became paralyzed as my feet guided me towards the bakery case, where I encountered a variety of Mexican galletas, in particular those ginger-like pig-shaped cookies…yum! However, the cookies became a distant memory as my gaze turned towards a bakery woman who was cutting and serving fresh slices of some sort of homemade cake. As I approached the woman, she gave me a “sample” of the cake, which to my luck was really an actual slice of cake. I took one bite of the cake and I was sold! The woman smiled and simply said, “mmmmm…Tres Leches es muy bueno.” With a mouthful of cake I gave her an “o my god I think I have died and gone to heaven” thumbs up. The cake was sooooo dense and moist, melting in my mouth upon contact. I could really taste the vanilla which kept me coming back for more. Not to mention, the whipped cream topping was simple and sweet, accompanied by a few freshly sliced strawberries. From that moment on, I decided to create my own recipe for Tres Leches…and if I must say so myself, I have succeeded. Not only did I succeed, but if I was of Mexican heritage, I am pretty sure my “abuela” would be pretty ecstatic that her little “nieta” could pull off such an authentic recipe. Nevertheless, for a white girl, I guess you could say I can really “throw down” on some Three Milks Cake. One day I was speaking with my Aunt Shelly, and somehow in passing, we were talking about baking and I told her about my Tres Leches. Coincidentally, she explained that it was my cousin Parker’s favorite cake in the world. Sooooooo…of course I had to be the best cousin in the world and make it for him for his birthday. Now, if I know my cousin I was sure that he would like it…but I underestimated his excitement…he didn’t like it, he LOVED it! I remember that birthday very well, where I trudged into my grandmother’s house carrying Parks’ birthday cake. I don’t even remember him finishing his pasta before tearing into the cake. The best part is that this is what I live for…to cook for my loved ones and to see their smiles as they enjoy a dish that I made. I think that because I put so much love into my cooking, in turn, that love shines through my food. Needless to say, that cake was “muy bueno” and I took home an empty cake pan! This weekend I had a great surprise for my cousins when they came to vist…see the recipe below! Let’s just say they ate, enjoyed, and hauled home with left overs!
For the cake:
2 c. of cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
a pinch of salt
6 large eggs, separated
2 c. of granulated sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter
2 Tbs. Mexican vanilla
1/2 c. whole milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
For the tres leches syrup:
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 c. coconut milk
For the frosting:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 Tbs. Mexican vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray.
3. In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
4. Separate the egg yolks and the egg whites.
5. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they form mountainous peaks (looks foamy/frothy). Transfer the egg whites to a bowl and set aside.
6. Using the electric mixer, cream the sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla.
7. Continue mixing, and slowly add the milk.
8. Then begin to add the flour mixture into the batter a little bit at a time (usually about three 1/2 c. sizes) until all the flour is incorporated and the batter is smooth.
9. Add the cinnamon and mix well.
10. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter until fully incorporated.
11. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.
12. Allow cake to cool completely, about 20-30 minutes.
13. Once the cake has cooled, pierce the entire cake with a fork.
14. Make the milk syrup by whisking together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and coconut milk together in a large mixing bowl.
15. Pour the syrup over the cake, a little at a time, until the cake is completely soaked through.
16. Cover the cake with aluminum foil and refrigerate until ready to serve (usually around 3-4 hours).
17. To make the whipped cream frosting, beat the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla using an electric mixer.
18. Before serving the cake, spread with the whipped cream frosting.
Note: I usually eat my Tres Leches sprinkled with a little dust of cinnamon and a big ole’ cup of hot coffee. It is also excellent with drizzled cajeta (caramel), dulce de leche, or a few freshly sliced strawberries…MANGIA!