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If you are already a fan of chaos in the kitchen-thank you by the way, much love-then you already know that Tres Leches cake is my undoing. I am the proud baker of numerous sponge cakes that all together would measure about three inches high. Unfortunately, traditional tres leches is a delicious, light sponge cake soaked in a sweet mixture of “three milks.” So, no sponge cake = no tres leches. Luckily, I have friends in high places now. After hearing my latest spongecake sob story, my friend Rebecca sent me yet another recipe-one she assured me she had tested herself and was just great.
Of course Rebecca’s ability to make a sponge cake does not translate equally to me making a sponge cake, but I summoned up the last shreds of my confidence and tried it. And what do you know? It worked! And it was delicious! And it was everything I wanted it to be. Finally! Thanks so much Rebecca, truly.
Tres Leches Cakemakes 1 9×13 cake, prep 20 min , cook time 30 min, adapted from King Arthur and Foodie with Family
- 6.25 oz (1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 10.5 oz (1 1/2 cups) sugar
- 6 tbsp cold water
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp almond flavoring
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 small can (5 oz) evaporated milk
- 1 tsp brandy or 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp brandy or cognac
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with a hand mixer until they’re pale yellow and fluffy. This takes longer than you think.
- Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very thick. Beat and beat and beat and beat and beat some more.
- Add the cold water, vanilla and almond to the yolk mixture, then stir in the dry ingredients. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites with a spatula until combined.
- Spoon the batter into the pan and level it with a spatula. Bake for 28-30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes.
- Using a fork, poke holes all over the cake and let cool an additional 30 minutes.
- While the cake is cooling, combine heavy cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and brandy in a small bowl or measuring cup with a spout.
- When the cake has reached room temp, pour the milk mixture over it slowly, pausing occasionally to allow it to soak in.
- Refrigerate for several hours before frosting, allowing the cake to absorb the milk.
- When ready to serve, add heavy cream, sugar, and brandy to a mixing bowl. Whip the cream until soft peaks form.
- Spread whipped cream over the top of cake and top with fresh sliced fruit.
This cake works great for casual outdoor parties. I served mine straight from the pan, which helps hold in the milks mixture, but you can turn it out onto a platter for serving if you want a fancier presentation. The sponge cake holds the milks mixture really well but you may still want to use a rimmed platter, just in case.
On the other hand, if you are as spongecake defective as I am, you can also make any white or yellow cake (yes, even a boxed one) in a 9×13 pan then continue with the recipe above starting at step eight. The white cake will get a lot moister so I would definitely serve from the pan.
P.S. Did you know chaos in the kitchen is two years old this week? How should we celebrate? Should I post my favorite recipes or yours?
Posted in Desserts