A few years ago, I made the smart (but uncommon) decision to order a dessert AFTER an all you can eat meat buffet fest at Bolero in Calgary. I was so glad that I did, and continued to repeat this pattern of glutenous behavior in subsequent visits there.
Why? Because of their Tres Leche Cake (translated to be literally “three milk cake”) which is exactly that: a sponge cake soaked in condensed milk, whipping cream and evaporated milk.
There is nothing wrong in that sentence at all.
Attempting to make a tres leche cake was something I had in the back of my mind for a while now, and I finally decided to give it a try to bring to a farewell party for some dear friends of ours that were moving away.
(I have a tendency to try new recipes when the pressure’s on. I dunno why I do these things to myself.)
You can find the detailed recipe that I used here. It’s pretty straight forward enough.
Anyways, separate the egg yolks and whites from each other.
Whip up the egg yolks and sugar till they are a nice pale yellow. Then add in the milk, and once combined, stir it into the flour mixture (not shown).
Whip up the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form.
now GENTLY fold the egg whites into your egg yolk/flour mixture. You don’t want to deflate the air too much, otherwise it won’t soak up all the milky goodness you’ll be pouring in later.
And then once incorporated, spread it into a greased pan. The recipe said to use a 9×13″ pan. I however opted for an 8×11″ pan. I wanted my cake to rise a bit taller.
And bake it at 350 degrees F for 35-45 mins, or until your toothpick comes out dry.
While it’s cooling, you can prepare the milks. Combine the cream, a can of evaporated, and a can of condensed milk into a pitcher. Stir them well together.
Once the cake cools, pierce it all over with a fork to make it easier for the milk to soak in.
So… this is my ugly cake, flipped upside down into my 9×11″ pan. A part of the bottom of the cake got stuck to the pan so I had to place it back on like a toupee. But no worries, we’ll be covering that up soon pretty quick here.
Start drizzling the milk mixture all over the cake, paying attention to the sides and corners, you don’t want to leave any dry cake areas. Try to get every part of the cake nice to absorb the milk. I even went as far as to lift up the undersides and corners of the cake with a spatula and tilted the pan to let the excess milk run underneath to help with absorption.
You should be left with approximately 1 cup of unused milk in your pitcher when it’s all done.
Let the cake soak for about 30 minutes until all the milks are soaked in, and then whip up the heavy cream with sugar to make a nice fresh whipped cream to cover the cake with.
For the purposes of what I was making the cake for, instead of topping the cake with cherries like the recipe suggested, I decided to pipe out some letters with melted chocolate onto parchment paper, let it harden in the fridge, and placed them on the cake.
I was a bit apprehensive when it was time to serve the cake, worried that my cake might have totally disintegrated and became a soggy, pudding-y mess and wouldn’t hold it shape when I cut into it. I was so relieved to see that I was wrong! The cake was very moist, rich, creamy, but still held it’s shape. I can’t get over how something so simple can taste so decadent.
This recipe is definitely going to my “must keep pile,” and I think the next time I make it, I’ll try serving it with a drizzle of fruit puree on the side, just like Bolero.
With that being said, the cake was devoured, well wishes were made to our dear friends, and a pathetic attempt of a going away song was sung to the tune of “happy birthday to you.”
But that’s another story for another time.