Inma of la Galletika was our Sept. 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and WOW did she bring us something decadent and delicious! Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake, creamy yet airy, super moist but not soggy.. just plain delish!
And now to the topic of the three milks. Firstly, can I just say, how utterly scrummy that mixture is? I seriously could have just drunk it straight from the bowl! But I digress. The thing about the milk mixture is that it feels like there’s too much of it – some cooks said they used all of it and their cakes were too soggy. So I was a lot more cautious and wouldn’t have used anywhere near half of the amount. That said, I didn’t cut the cake in two which meant much less surface to brush the milk onto.
Also, I have to confess that while the recipe called to soak the cake overnight, I didn’t have the time to do that, leaving it to soak for only about 6 hours. So while the cake was reasonably moist, it ought to have been a lot moister. So the jury’s still out on exactly how much of the milk mixture should be used. When the opportunity presents itself, I’ll try this recipe again, and see if I can’t perfect the texture – I reckon it’s totally worth the effort.
THREE MILKS CAKE (PASTEL DE TRES LECHES)
Vanilla sponge cake:
- 5 large eggs (separated)
- ½ cup (125 g) sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of vanilla extract
- 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour (sifted)
Three milks syrup:
- 1 can (400 g) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can (340 g) evaporated milk
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream (about 35% fat) or 1 cup of half & half, or 1 cup milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) rum (or other flavouring) I used Bailey’s Irish Cream
Topping and filling:
- 2 cups (500 ml) of whipping cream (about 30% fat)
- ½ cup (120 ml) (4 oz) (125 g) sugar
- Canned or fresh fruit (to fill and decorate the cake)
- Sponge Cake: Preheat oven to moderate 180°C (350°F). Prepare a square 9”x9” pan or 9” round cake pan.
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Beat the egg whites on medium speed, 3 – 5 minutes. When soft peaks form slowly add the sugar in small batches. Whip until stiff peaks form about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl beat egg yolks at medium-high speed for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the egg yolks become pale coloured, creamy and puffy. Stir in vanilla.
- Pour the egg yolks over the egg whites, gently fold until just combined trying not to lose any volume from the mixture.
- Sprinkle over the flour little by little via a fine sieve and gently fold in between each sprinkling. Mix until just combined (over-beating will result in a denser, flatter cake).
- Pour the batter into the prepared 9”x9” (23cmx23 cm) square cake pan or 9” (23 cm) round cake pan.
- Bake in the preheated moderate oven for 25 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.
- Let it cool. Once cool, split the cake in half, flip the top of the cake and place it on a base. Poke using a fork holes all over the cake (and through to the bottom) to better absorb the three milk soaking liquid.
- Three milks syrup: In a saucepan add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and cinnamon stick, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Remove it and let it cool.
- Once it is cool, add the rum or any other flavouring you are using.
- Gradually brush all the milk soaking liquid into all sides of the cake (including the cut surfaces) until all absorbed. Best to rest the cake in the fridge overnight to complete the soaking process.
- Topping: Whip the cream, when soft peaks form add the sugar little by little, continue whipping until stiff peaks form – about 2 mins.
- Decoration: Layer some whipped cream on the bottom layer and cover with canned or fresh fruit and decorate the top layer with whipped cream and the fresh or canned fruit.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting