February 20, 2011

Pastel de Tres Leches

I saw this recipe in a Cook's Illustrated magazine and had been wanting to make this delicious dessert for some time. This popular Latin America cake translates as "cake of three milks" or "three milks cake," stemming from the integral part of the cake, the sauce made with heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. The finished product is dense and moist, but not overly wet. I chose to compliment the fresh whipped cream with some fresh berries which added just the right touch. The recipe below yields 12 large pieces. Enjoy!

1. This does take a few hours to make including some overnight soaking time in the refrigerator so leave make sure you leave yourself enough time.

Milk Mixture
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
8 Tbs unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
4 large eggs, room temp
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbs corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Fresh Berries (optional)

Milk Mixture
1. Pour condensed milk into large microwave safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.

2. Microwave on low, stirring and replacing plastic every 3-5 minutes until slightly darkened, 12 – 15 minutes.
3. Remove from microwave and slowly whisk in evaporated milk, cream and vanilla.

4. Let cool to room temperature.

1. Adjust oven rack to middle and heat to 325.
2. Grease and flour 13 by 9 inch baking pan.
3. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in bowl.

4. Heat butter and milk in saucepan over low heat until butter is melted. Set aside off heat.
5. Beat eggs in large bowl using a whisk attachment for 30 seconds, then slowly add sugar.

6. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is thick and glossy, 5-7 minutes.
7. Reduce speed to low and slowly mix in milk butter mixture and vanilla.

8. Add flour mixture in three additions then mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

9. Scrape batter into pan and bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 30-35 min.

10. Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.
11. Using skewer, poke holes at ½ inch intervals in top of cake.

12. Slowly pour milk mixture over cake until completely absorbed.

13. Let sit at room temperature 15 minutes, then refrigerate uncovered 3 hours or up to 24.

1. Remove cake from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.
2. With mixer on medium speed, beat heavy cream, corn syrup and vanilla to soft peaks, 1-2 minutes.

3. Spread over cake and slice into 3 inch squares.

4. Garnish with fresh berries if desired.

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