Food is Love, Love is Food.

A blog devoted to the connection between meals, memories and the special moments in our lives.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tres Leches: A Birthday Cake for Michael

My husband Michael is not shy when it comes to sharing his opinion on desserts (truth be told, he is not shy when it comes to sharing his opinions on pretty much anything). He is not really interested in desserts. His stance has always been that if you have room for dessert, you haven’t eaten enough supper. In fact, we once went on a cruise, where meals are all-inclusive. At dinner with friends each night, when everyone else would order dessert, Michael would usually order another meal. The servers were dumbfounded. He will occasionally indulge in a dessert that is really interesting to him, like a crème brulee, but even then, he will typically only eat half. It takes a serious sweet to tempt him (like the fancy cake I made for Brynn recently, of which he ate 2 large servings). But this weekend was his birthday, and of course, a birthday requires a cake. So I made Michael a Tres Leches cake, which anyone who has taken a little Spanish knows means ‘three milks,’ and it was delicious. The Martha Stewart recipe worked well, and was very simple, the leavening coming from egg whites. I added a little vanilla and a little salt, mostly because I believe that, just like Michael, their presence
                                                          makes everything a little better.

Tres Leches Cake:  (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

6 eggs, divided
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp. confectionerss sugar

Mix the three milks (the whole milk, the sweetened condensed and the evaporated) in a bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and grease a 9x13 baking dish. Separate eggs, whip whites to stiff peaks, and then beat the yolks and the sugar together until fluffy.  Fold the yellow into the whites carefully.  Add the flour, salt and vanilla, and fold in, careful not to over mix.  Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Let cool for 20 minutes, then pour the milk mixture over the top.  You will think there is far too much of the milk mixture, and the cake will appear to 'float' at first, but it will all be absorbed and the cake will be lusciously moist.  Refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably several.  Whip the cream and the confectioners sugar right before serving, and spread it across the whole cake, almost like frosting.  This cake is delicious served with strawberries and raspberries that have macerated in a little sugar and a sweet white wine.

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