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
Makes 10 servings
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
Fresh lightly sweetened whipped cream
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!