for the cake:
1 cup milk,
100g unsalted butter,
10g baking powder,
pinch of salt,
for the milk sauce:
400ml condensed milk,
350g concentrated milk,
250g heavy cream,
The origin of the Tres leches “three milk” cake is still controversial. Most historians believe that the cake came from Nicaragua. Others believe that it originated in Mexico. But almost all historians are inclined to believe that Tres leches clearly emerged from Latin America. Tres leches is particularly popular in Nicaragua, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guatemala. The Dominican Republic is no exception. In the Dominican version of the recipe, condensed milk is sometimes substituted for coconut milk. And in some parts of Central America the cake is soaked in a mixture of water, rum or brandy and sugar to create a “Pastel borracho”, which means “drunken cake”.
The three main ingredients of the Tres leches are three types of milk (hence the name): condensed milk, concentrated milk and cream. They are mixed to make a milk sauce, which the cake is soaked in, giving it a moist yet firm texture. This is a wonderful cake that will appeal to all lovers of milk!
1. First prepare the cake. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In a bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
2. Over a low heat warm the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter has just melted.
3. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl until smooth, for about 5 minutes, the mixture should become somewhat airy and light.
4. Gradually add the flour and milk, adding the flour a spoonful at a time.
5. Add 1 / 3 cup of the milk mixture at a time.
6. Beat all together until smooth. Grease the cake tin with oil and sprinkle lightly with flour. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 40-60 minutes, my cake took exactly 55 minutes.
7. The cooked cake should be flushed with colour and should bounce back when pressed. Allow the cake to cool slightly.
8. Now make the milk sauce to soak the cake in.
9. Mix the three milks together. Using a sharp knife remove the seeds from the vanilla pod and add them to the milk. The vanilla pod can be replaced with vanilla essence or extract.
10. Remove the cake from the mold and shift to a deeper container, such as a pot which is slightly larger in diameter. Deeply pierce the cake over the entire surface using a sharp knife. Slowly pour the milk mixture over the cake. Leave the cake to soak covered with a lid for a minimum 5 hours, or preferably over night. The cake will absorb all of the milk mixture like a sponge.
11. Put the cake on a plate upside down. Now ice the cake, the original recipe requires whipped cream but I don’t like whipped cream so I used condensed milk which works fantastically.
12. Voila! The famous Latin American dessert is ready! This cake is quite common, dense and moist topped with a cloud of whipped cream or condensed milk. After trying the first bite, I was very impressed. This cake is surprisingly light, very moist and sweet, but not excessively so. This cake has a lot of calories but if you have a small portion this cake is a wonderful way to finish a light lunch or a great afternoon snack with a cup of good coffee mmmm.
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