No one has to encourage me twice to throw a party.
Yesterday it was our aunts 82 birthday. Her second favorite nephew (my husband would claim he’s the first favorite) took her on a mystery drive, to lunch with her grandkids, and then over to our house for an impromptu birthday party.
And I baked a cake.
Anyone who knows me, knows what a miraculous event that is. I can’t bake.
Something in my chemistry, I think.
I try and try, I measure twice and pour once. I assume the right atmospheric temperature, never open the oven until done and keep my fingers out of everything (except cookie dough).
And still I’m a baking failure.
Except now. I have discovered the miracle cake. The cake that forgives all sins. The cake that is so simple and yummy, even I can make it delicious.
Tres Leches. A traditional Mexican (some will say Central American) cake, its a simple sponge or butter cake, soaked in, yes three kinds of milk. And not just three milks, three nectars of the gods: Evaporated milk, Sweetened condensed milk and….Heavy Cream.
And when I say soaked, I mean SOAKED!
The result: a custardy, bready, cakey, concoction of milky, sweet, creamy heaven.
2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
2 tsp baking powder
6 Eggs, separated
1/2 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Sift together flour, sugar and baking powder. In a separate bowl, with mixer on high, beat egg whites until light and fluffy. Slowly add egg yolks to meringue, beating the whole while. When incorporated, add the sifted flour mixture and the 1/2 cup of whole milk to the meringue. Beat on medium until combined.
Pour into a greased 9×13 baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
2 cans evaporated milk
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 pints of heavy cream
(I warned you this was decadent!)
2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients and stir well.
Once cake has cooled to the touch, loosen the edges (they should be pulling away from the pan with easy) and taking a short skewer or toothpick, poke the cake along its entire surface, the more holes the moister, but be careful not to tear up the cake.
Pour the soaking milk over the cake still in the pan. This will take some time, be patient as it absorbs. Once the milk reaches the rim of the pan, you may have to wait awhile and return to complete the task. The cake should absorb about 90% of the liquid. Lift the edges a bit to assist in getting the soaking milk under the cake. Save the last 10% for serving.
Let sit for an hour or more.
2 pints heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Boil the sugar and water on the stove for a few minutes or until dissolved. You could also place the sugar and water in a micro-safe bowl and nuke for 1 minute to dissolve.
Let cool by placing in fridge (along with your mixing beaters and bowl).
Once the sugar mixture is cool to the touch, place the heavy cream into your chilled bowl and beat with the mixer on high. As the cream solidify’s, slowly add the sugar water to sweeten. Continue beating to stiff peaks.
To serve: Slice the cake into squares, place in bowl, spoon some extra soaking milk over the top and scoop a big dollop of fresh whipped cream. Tradition says to place a maraschino cherry atop the whole yummy goodness.