A friend of mine calls this cake orgasmic. The first time I ate it was when I lived in New York. I ordered it from a Latin bakery without knowing what it was. I know what it is now, and yes, I admit, it is orgasmic.
I like to think in stage when I cook. It is my mental mise-en-place. The Tres Leche has three stages – making the cake, the milk basting and last the cream Chantilly/plating.
Actually, this cake version has 4 types of milk – regular milk, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream. You can top the cake with a type of Italian meringue called suspiro in Spanish. However, I prefer a cream Chantilly.
Making the cake
- Oven proof pan. I use a 36x25x5 cm glass, oven proof pan
- Grease proof paper
- Butter for greasing the greaseproof paper
- 1 cup sifted flour
- 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
- good pinch of salt
- 5 regular size eggs. The whites and yolks separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For milk basting
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk. I know this tin is smaller than the evaporated milk
- 1 can evaporated milk. Again this tin is larger than the sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
Crème Chantilly / Chantilly Cream
- 2-1/2 cups of heavy cream
- 2 tbsp. icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Heat the oven to 180°C.
- Line the baking dish with grease-proof paper. Lightly butter the pan sides and the paper lining
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside
- In a large bowl mix the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and creamy. Add the milk and vanilla essence, continue whisking until the mixture is very smooth
- In another large bowl, beat the egg whites to the stiff stage.
- Mix half the flour mixture to the egg yolks then add half the egg whites. Fold in the rest of the flour, mixing. The air bubbles in the egg whites provide lightness to the cake
- Pour the batter in the baking pan, bake for 25 minutes until the top acquires a light golden color. Let the cake cool in the pan. Invert the cake on a rake, remove the grease-proof paper, let the cake completely cool
- Clean the baking pan and return the cake to it.
- Poke holes in the cake, at regular intervals. I use a skewer.
Making the soaking milk
- In medium pot put the sweetened condensed milk, the evaporated milk and the whipping cream and the pinch of salt. Mix well and heat up under low heat for 5 minutes.
- Pour the milk mixture all over the cake. Cover the cake with cling film and let it soak up the liquid for a couple of hours but better overnight.
Crème Chantilly – plating
- In a large bowl, beat the whipping cream and when it starts to thicken add the icing sugar and the vanilla essence. Continue whisking until reaching the stiff peak stage.
- You can serve the cake with a layer of whipped cream on top. Also, you can cut it in individual portions, top with whipped cream and plate.