Monday, December 31, 2007

Tres Leches

On New Years Eve this year, my daughter Sky and I made a Tres Leches Cake, which I discovered to be a popular dessert in Ecuador (where I grew up). Surprisingly, I hadn't ever heard of it, and so we decided to try it. Wow! It was really rich and it was really good! And it was so easy to make!

Ingredients for the Cake:

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour

Ingredients for the Syrup:

  • 1 can (410 g) evaporated milk
  • 1 can (400 g) condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream or whole milk

Ingredients for the Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbs. sugar

Procedure for the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Grease and flour a 9x13 in. pan.
  3. Beat the egg whites in a clean metal bowl until stiff peaks form. For best results, use cold egg whites directly from the refrigerator.
  4. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a separate bowl until it forms a creamy yellow mixture.
  5. Stir the flour and sugar together in another bowl.
  6. Add the egg yolk mixture to the dry ingredients and blend thoroughly by hand.
  7. Fold the whipped egg whites into the creamed mixture with large, gentle strokes.
  8. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 20 to 30 minutes or until light brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Once the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and put it into a deep dish. Let cool slightly before adding the syrup.

Procedure for the Syrup:

  • Blend the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and cream.
  • Pour over the cake, making sure to cover it entirely. R
  • Refrigerate and cool completely.

Procedure for the Topping:

  • Beat the cream with the 3 tbs. of sugar until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread over the cake.
  • Refrigerate - or eat immediately.
Options and Variations:
  • Some recipes in the region add a cup of rum to the milk mixture.
  • The recipe itself is neutral enough in taste to handle a touch of flamboyance. It can be lightly dusted with ground cinnamon or instant coffee.
  • Berries or bananas can be layered beneath the cake mixture and placed atop the meringue.
  • Toasted coconut or chocolate shavings can be sprinkled on top.
  • Caramel sauce can also be drizzled over the topping.

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