Archive | February, 2012

Mary Luz’s Pastel Tres Leches

25 Feb

Those of you who know me personally know that I’m a huge fan and active user of Twitter. The information I’ve received and the experiences I have gained in the past 4 years have all been due to this magical 140-character messaging system. Through Twitter, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a number of great people, many of whom are professionals in food and one such woman is the lovely Mary Luz Mejia@maryluzonfood on Twitter (Note:  follow her on Twitter and you will learn a lot about food!).  I was on the hunt for a great Pastel Tres Leches recipe and she was more than happy to share hers.

Pastel Tres Leches (from Spanish, “three milk cake”) is a sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. Yes, I know that that sounds extremely decadent but if you consider the fact that you will only eat a small piece of it (or at least attempt to!), it doesn’t sound so bad right?  : ) I first tried this incredible cake at a restaurant a few years ago and I was hooked. I will refrain from sharing the name of the restaurant because sadly, they stopped making this cake the way they originally did (serious mistake on their part!).

This cake has a wet texture which is similar to a few East Indian desserts such as Ras Malai and Rasgulla. Based on this, I thought my family would enjoy it and I was right…they ate the whole cake!

Mary Luz recommends serving it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and mango slices. I served it with whipped cream and Bon Maman’s Caramel Spread (Dulce de Leche), to add more decadence : )

Mary Luz Mejia’s Pastel Tres Leches

(The original link for Mary Luz’s recipe is located here on the Edible Toronto site at http://bit.ly/w7Gc5D )

Makes 10 servings

Cake

5 large eggs, separated

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup whole (3.25%) milk

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

For the milk syrup

1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 cup whipping (35%) cream

1 tbsp dark Cuban rum (Note:  I didn’t have any at home so I used Captain Morgan Dark Rum)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

My garnish

Fresh lightly sweetened whipped cream

Bon Maman’s Caramel Spread (Dulce de Leche)

To make the cake:  Generously butter a 13- x 9-inch baking dish; set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and ¾ cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the milk and vanilla. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula, mix until just combined.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer), beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then add the cream of tartar. With the machine running, gradually add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and continue beating until the egg whites are glossy and firm but not dry. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Spread the batter evenly into the baking dish.

Bake in a preheated 350º F oven until the cake feels firm when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Let the cake cool completely in the baking dish. Pierce the cake all over with a fork, taking care to not tear it.

To make the milk syrup:  In a large bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream, rum and vanilla. Pour half of the syrup evenly over the cake, waiting until the syrup is absorbed before spooning more on top. Continue to add syrup to the cake until all of the syrup has been absorbed. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight.

Garnish: When ready to serve, cut a slice of cake and plate it. I spread some fresh whipped cream onto the piece and drizzled it (ok, so I loaded it!) with Bon Maman’s Caramel Spread (Dulce de Leche). It was delicious!

Muchas gracias Mary Luz for sharing this recipe, I don’t think I will ever order it in a restaurant again!

Chipotle Mexican Grill at 123 Front Street W. + a CONTEST!

3 Feb

One of my favourite restaurants from the U.S. is Chipotle and I was thrilled when they brought the chain to Toronto a few years ago. The great news is that they recently opened their third restaurant at 123 Front Street West! It’s just down the street from Union Station and the location is perfect for quick dinner before a game at the Air Canada Centre or Rogers Centre.

If you’ve never been to Chipotle, they specialize in burritos, tacos and other fresh Mexican goodies. It’s a great place to grab a quick bite and unlike most other fast food chains, they have some tasty options for vegetarians (yay!). Since it had been awhile since my last Chipotle experience, I knew that I had to start off with their famous chips and medium salsa (sadly, I’m allergic to avocados and can’t have guacamole – yes, I know this is a tragic!). Their salsa has such a great, fresh and lively flavour that it’s pretty addictive (if it weren’t for my dining companion Andrea, I would’ve eaten it all up with a spoon!).

Usually when I visit Chipotle, I’m all about the burritos but after having a late lunch, I wasn’t hungry enough to do justice to one. Andrea suggested that I try a Burrito Bowl, which really is a burrito without the wrapper. There are a number of great vegetarian ingredients available at Chipotle, so I loaded them into my Burrito Bowl. I added some of my favourite ingredients including the vegetarian black beans and chili-corn salsa. Since my last visit, they added a new cilantro-lime rice made with brown rice, which was really tasty. Lastly, I added some fajita vegetables, sour cream and lettuce and I was all set. It was delish!

All of the ingredients are FRESH and the staff (who are amazing by the way!) will be the first to tell you that don’t freeze anything. Visit http://www.chipotle.com to learn more about the company and check out the menu.

Now, here comes the fun part… 

CONTEST – Win dinner for two at Chipotle (2 dinners to give away!)

My friends at Chipotle have given me two sets of Burrito Bucks to give away! The Burrito Bucks can be used at any Chipotle restaurant in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) until Tuesday February 28 – so yes, this will be a quick contest!

There are 2 ways to enter:

OPTION #1 – If you’re on Twitter – Tweet the following message:

@savvari I want to win dinner for two at Chipotle! #ChipotleTO

OPTION #2 – If you’re not on Twitter, leave a comment on this blog post and tell me what you would order at Chipotle with your Burrito Bucks. You can check out the Chipotle menu here at http://www.chipotle.com/en-US/menu/menu.aspx– yum!

 Contest closes on Tuesday February 7 at 12 pm EST, so get your entries in quickly!

IMPORTANT!

-You can only enter once per day.

-You MUST be from the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) to win.

-The Burrito Bucks are only valid at the following locations in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area):

  • 123 Front Street West,Toronto(near Union Station)
  • 323 Yonge Street (Yonge and Dundas)
  • 2323 Yonge Street (Yonge and Eglinton)

These Burrito Bucks expire on Tuesday February 28, so if you win, you will have to use them quickly!

Good luck!

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WINNERS! 

Congrats to @iamvickytam and @anumhashim for winning the #ChipotleTO contest! Your Burrito Bucks are going in the mail tonight!

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