Saturday, April 6, 2013

On the menu: Pastel de tres leches ...

I'm constantly tempted by sweet desserts. For my husband, it must be chocolate, and only chocolate. But, for me, it only takes something with delectable sweetness to ring the bell on the yummy meter. Among those temptations is Pastel de Tres Leches, a lustworthy cake with a Mexican pedigree and  named after the three rich milks used in its recipe.

My friend Catherine makes what may be the best Tres Leches (so familiar you don't even have to say 'cake' in this part of world). I had to beg for her recipe, and I'm so glad I did.


3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 cup milk
Pinch each of cinnamon, ginger, allspice

Milk mixture:
1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
1 12 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz can of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon white rum

*Whipped cream, strawberries, mint leaves, powdered sugar, chopped pecans, leftover milk mixture for garnishing (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease a 9” round cake pan.  Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and spices.  In another bowl incorporate eggs, milk and vanilla.  Blend well until light in color.  Mix with dry ingredients and blend.  Pour into cake pans.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes until top is light golden brown and springs back when touched in the middle.

Let cake cook for about 15 minutes then remove from pan.  Let cool completely.

To make milk mixture, add evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, cream of coconut, vanilla, cinnamon and white rum.  Mix well.  Let stand for 15 minutes.

Turn cake upside down, pour milk mixture onto cake until cake is soaked with milk mixture.  Chill for at least four (4) hours.  It is better if you let set overnight.

*Top with leftover milk, spread whipped cream on top as icing and garnish with sliced fruit, nuts and powdered sugar (optional).  Cut into wedges and serve while still chilled.

Now, where's a fork?

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