Cakes are difficult. Not necessarily difficult to make... just difficult to decided when to make. Think about it- you want to make cakes for events, when lots of people will be able to enjoy it. Otherwise you'll no doubt eat the whole thing yourself, which is probably not the most healthy practice. But the caveat is that it's hard to try new cake recipes when you're baking for other people because you can't try it before serving to make sure it's worthy! There are a few cakes I've been wanting to try out, but I just can't seem to find the right opportunity! I need a low pressure situation! Honestly though, maybe I just need to go back to my phase of determination to create the most perfect chocolate cake when I threw out chocolate cake after chocolate cake in dissatisfaction until I found the perfect ratio of ingredients? Or lower my standards because I'm pretty sure no one has ever complained when served cake...

It was a friend's birthday last week and I toyed with the idea of trying a new cake recipe. I almost mustered up enough courage to try something new, but then I remembered an old favorite that I hadn't made in years- tres leches cake. How could I have forgotten about it?! A light, airy cake soaked in three different delicious milk and topped with freshly made whipped cream?! This recipe actually might have been the impetus of my love for experimenting with cooking! I remember looking on Allrecipes and not feeling satisfied with any one recipe, so I decided to combine three of them. I typed up what I ended up doing, printed my version of the recipe off onto a simple white piece of printer paper, folded it up haphazardly, and added it to my mom's recipe box. Now I'm feeling all nostalgic thinking about it! Anyways, I mentioned the idea of making a tres leches cake to my friend but realized that if I made this cake, I had to post it to the blog. Because it is literally amazing. But I couldn't cut into her birthday cake just to take a picture for the blog! In the past I've made a round layer cake, but in addition to blog photos, I also had to consider transportation to the birthday potluck, so I ended up resolving to bake her birthday cake in a square, easy to transport cake pan and baking a couple mini cakes in my new Le Creuset mini cocottes for food blog fun! When I made the layer cakes I used to pour the milk over the layers, drain excess liquid off of the cake stand, and repeat until all of the milk was absorbed. Needless to say, this was time consuming and a little difficult because once the cake saturated, it tended to slip off the stand when you tipped it to drain the milk. Still fun and it made a beautiful layer cake, but honestly now that I've made it in the square pan, I don't think I'll ever go back to the layer cake! It's a really simple recipe and if you like tiramisu you will LOVE this. Maybe not your traditional birthday cake, but it might be better!

tres leches cake

1 cup white sugar, separated
5 eggs, separated
1 cup flour
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream, separated
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 t salt
1 shake cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottoms and sides of a 9-inch cake pan to prepare. In a standing mixer, beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar until light in color and doubled in size. Stir in the flour, milk, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Pour this mixture into another bowl and clean out your mixing bowl in order to use again to whip the egg whites. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat until firm peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture and pour into the prepared pan. This cake will puff quite a bit (that's what makes it so light!) so if you ended up beating your eggs so much that the cake pan is completely full, only fill to ~1/2" from the top of the cake pan and make yourself a little mini cake like I did! Bake for about 30 minutes until the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch. It will dome a bit while it bakes but it should even out upon cooling. Allow to cool completely (for about an hour) before preparing the milk mixture. When cool, use a whisk to mix the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and 1 cup of the heavy cream in a large measuring cup with a spout. Poke many holes in the top of the cake with a fork, especially around the edges where the cake top is less porous. Then pour the milk over the cake, attempting to cover all areas equally. Cover the cake with plastic wrap (though, try not to let the cake top touch the plastic or else it will stick!) and place in the refrigerator for an hour until cool. Meanwhile, you can place your mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer so that they are cold when you're ready to whip your cream. When the cake is cool, whip the remaining 1 cup heavy cream on medium high for about 3 minutes until soft peaks form. Then add the powdered sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Beat on high until hard peaks form, then spread over the cake. Return the cake to the refrigerator until ready to serve and prepare to fall in love!

No comments:

Post a Comment