Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tres Leches ("Three Milks")

Tres Leches is a well-known dessert from Nicaragua. It often appears in Mexican bakeries and is essentially a sponge cake soaked with three different types of milk. I don't think it is too difficult to make but that's because the taste and texture are so incredible. If you make this, I promise that your family and friends who try it will be amazed and want this recipe.

My recipes does not use the traditional meringue frosting - it is way too sweet and with everything else in the cake, it is like gilding the lily.


9 eggs, separated
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk, mixed with 1 tablespoon baking powder

3 egg yolks
2 cups (1 pint) half and half
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups (1 pint) whipping cream (heavy cream), chilled
3 tbsp sugar



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.

2. Beat together egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale; add the vanilla. Add flour alternately with the milk mixture. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Stir about a third of whites into batter, then fold in the remainder until completely blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake on middle rack of oven until cake tests done, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a rack for 2 hours.


3. Beat yolks well. Bring 1 cup of half and half to a boil. While beating yolks, slowly pour in hot cream; beat until foamy and cool. Add remaining half and half and evaporated and condensed milks; beat thoroughly. Add vanilla. Cool in refrigerator while cake is cooling.


4. When cake has cooled, punch holes in it with end of a wooden spoon. Slowly pour filling over the cake, which should absorb all the filling. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.


5. Chill bowl and egg beater(s) by placing in freezer for one hour. Beat whipping cream for one minute and add sugar. Beat until stiff but don’t over beat or you’ll have butter! Swirl frosting on top of cake in big strokes.

Serving: Serves 16. Good for breakfast too since it is mostly eggs after all. Hah!