Friday, September 27, 2013

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Pastel de Tres Leches

Inma was our September 2013 Daring Bakers' hostess and WOW did she bring us something decadent and delicious! Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake, creamy yet airy, super moist but not soggy... just plain delish!

This challenge came at a perfect time for me, as I recently moved back to South Florida, and have been enjoying the delicious Hispanic desserts that are popular in the area. This cake is very sweet, yet light, due to the fluffy texture of the cake batter. I chose to make the traditional Tres Leches, and top it with fresh whipped cream and strawberries, but I would also eventually love to make one of my favorite variations- Mango Tres Leches! The recipe was very simple... the only difficult step was waiting for the cake to soak overnight before cutting into it! I was initially nervous about adding too much of the milk syrup, but found that the cake was able to hold all of the syrup without becoming soggy. 

Bake cake and poke holes to absorb three milks syrup.

Make three milks syrup.

Pour syrup over cake and allow to absorb.


Pastel de Tres Leches
Serves 12

Vanilla Sponge Cake
5 large eggs (separated)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (sifted)

Three Milks Syrup
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp rum

Sweetened whipped cream, to finish
Fresh fruit, to finish

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a 9" round cake pan.
2. Separate egg whites and yolks. Beat egg whites for 3-5 minutes, until soft peaks form. Slowly sprinkle in sugar, and continue beating for about 5 additional minutes, until stiff peaks form.
3. In another bowl, beat egg yolks for 5-6 minutes. Yolks will become creamy, puffy and light in color. Stir in vanilla extract.
4. Carefully fold egg yolks into egg whites. Gradually sprinkle the flour onto the egg mixture, and fold in carefully. Be careful not to allow batter to lose too much volume.
5. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 25 minutes. Toothpick inserted in cake should come out clean.
6. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely.
7. Once cake is cool, use a fork to poke holes all over.
8. Make syrup: Bring the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and cinnamon to a boil in a saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until slightly thickened. Allow syrup to cool, then add rum.
9. Slowly pour cooled syrup over cake, brushing syrup onto sides of cake to ensure that liquid is evenly distributed.
10. Allow cake to rest overnight in fridge to completely soak up syrup.
11. Complete cake by icing with sweetened whipped cream and fresh fruit, as desired.

-Adapted from recipe by Chef Paulina Abascal, as published in Revista Secretos de la Pasteleria Caserais magazine.

-Posted by Jennifer