Sunday, June 12, 2011
pastel de tres leches
tres leche cake
Chris has a birthday at the end of the month and this was his request for his birthday cake. I made it this weekend because I am booked solid through the end of the month. Tres leche, or three milk cake, is a sponge cake with a mixture of condensed milk, evaporated milk and fresh cream or milk poured over it. The milks soak into the cake overnight creating an intense moistness and velvety texture. I used a recent recipe from Saveur magazine because instead of regular milk or cream, it called for a can of unsweetened coconut milk to be added to the evaporated and condensed milks. Yum.
The cake in the recipe was a basic genoise, or French sponge cake. I beat eggs and sugar in my mixer until pale, thick and triple the volume (6 eggs and 1 cup sugar almost filled up my 5 quart mixer bowl). I then quickly and gently folded in 1 cup of flour, poured the batter into a pan and baked for a half hour. I read several other recipes where the cake was made more traditionally by creaming butter and sugar together, adding eggs and and beating in flour. I enjoyed the end result of the genoise, though, because it makes such a light cake. And genoise is an amazing cake to bake. It doesn't contain baking powder or baking soda to help make the cake rise. It depends solely on whipping enough air into the eggs to create height (eggs are so freakin' amazing!).
I covered the cake in a cloud of whipped cream and called it a day. Happy Birthday, Chris!