Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Tres Leches Cake

Servings: 9-12
Charlotte, a guest to Diana's Desserts website, is from Costa Rica, Central America. She offers this recipe as being the "Original" Tres Leches that is made in her country. She also says, "The Tres Leches is very rich and delicious and improves with time...a few days after made, it is even better, and she goes on to say: "Never remove cake from baking dish. It is served right from the baking dish or pan". Charlotte also tells me that the Whipped Cream Topping is more popular in Costa Rica than the Meringue Topping. Recipes for both toppings are included below.

Tres Leches Cake is served at holiday celebrations such as Cinco de Mayo in Mexico, and at other special occasions in Mexico and Central America. It has become quite popular in the United States.....Diana, Diana's Desserts

For Cake:
6 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
4 tbsp. ice water

For The Tres Leches Syrup:
1 can sweetened condensed milk (see note)*
1 can evaporated milk (see note)*
2 cups (16 oz.) whole milk
1/4 cup rum (optional)

For Topping:
Whipped Cream or Meringue Topping (see recipes below)

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease and lightly flour a 9x13 inch rectangular baking dish (pyrex glass baking dish is good). Set aside.

Beat the 6 egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and self-raising flour, the 6 egg yolks and the ice water.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake in oven at 350ºF (180ºC) for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. (Make the Tres Leches Syrup while cake is baking). Remove cake from oven and place cake (Do NOT remove cake from baking dish) on wire cooling rack.

To Make The Tres Leches Syrup:
In a large bowl combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the 2 cups whole milk. Mix well. Stir in a little rum if desired.

With a fork, toothpick or wooden skewer, poke holes all over top of cake and pour the Tres Leches syrup over the top of cake until completely absorbed.

Once cake has cooled sufficiently, refrigerate cake in baking dish for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight before frosting with whipped cream or meringue topping.

Makes 9 - 12 servings.

For Whipped Cream Topping:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated or confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Before making the Whipped Cream Topping, chill your beaters and bowl in freezer for 15 - 20 minutes. Make sure your heavy whipping cream is well chilled.

Pour "chilled" heavy whipping cream into mixing bowl, beat until soft peaks form; add sugar and the vanilla extract and beat until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat!

Spread whipped cream topping evenly over Tres Leches Cake and garnish cake with nuts, fruit or decoration of your choice.

Makes approximately 4 cups whipped cream topping.

For Meringue Topping
3 tablespoons water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
1 - 2 tsp. lemon juice (optional)

Once the cake is completely chilled, in a saucepan combine the water and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Cook until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 235-240 degrees F (112-115 C) on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form; add lemon juice (optional). While beating, add the hot syrup in a stream. Beat until all the syrup has been added, the mixture cools, and a glossy icing forms.

Spread the Meringue Topping evenly across the top of chilled cake. Decorate with nuts, fresh fruit or decoration of your choice. If desired, garnish with mint sprigs or edible flowers.

Makes about 4 cups meringue topping.

*Note From Diana's Desserts
Depending on what country you live in, Evaporated Milk and Sweetened Condensed Milk come in different size cans.

Charlotte suggests using 12 ounces of each of these milks plus 2 cups of whole milk for the Tres Leches Syrup. Here in the United States, Sweetened Condensed Milk comes in a 14 ounce can, and Evaporated Milk comes in a 12 ounce can. I used 1 can of each, and this worked well. It is a little more than what the recipe calls for, but that didn't seem to make much difference.

Source: Charlotte Leaver
Submitted By: Charlotte Leaver
Date: May 3, 2003