Blog-checking lines: Inma of la Galletika was our Sept. 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and WOW did she bring us something decadent and delicious! Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake, creamy yet airy, super moist but not soggy.. just plain delish!
Tres Leches (or Three Milk Cake) is a cake that is popular in Central and South America. It is made from a light vanilla sponge cake which is then soaked in a syrup made from three kinds of milk (evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream). The distinct light and dry texture of the sponge cake is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a large amount of liquid.
I have always wondered what a Tres Leches cake tasted like. I had a friend who bought herself a slice every year on her birthday despite being a hard-core Atkins (no carb) follower so I always figured it must be something special. It was nice to have an opportunity with this challenge to finally try one of these cakes for myself.
We were given a few different recipes to choose from, but I decided to make a half batch of the classic three milks cake in a 6 inch cake pan. We’ve had a lot of cake around here between my birthday and another challenge cake I made this month. Some members of this household do not consider this to be a problem, but I am fond of the size of my clothes!
The sponge cake came out very light and fluffy and pretty dry, all the better to soak up the decadent 3 milks syrup. I did end up with a bit of sogginess in the center of my cake despite an overnight rest after dousing it and another 6 hour rest before serving. The 3 milks mixture, which is cooked with a cinnamon stick and flavored with a little rum when cool, is very tasty and gives a subtle flavor to the cake. I would have been very happy just spooning up the soaking syrup! However, soaked into a cake is the much more acceptable way to eat this sweet and milky liquid.
One of the nice things about this cake is that it can be decorated in any way and can be filled with fresh or canned fruit in addition to whipped cream. I chose to keep it simple and classic and frosted the cake with sweetened whipped cream. I also sprinkled a little cinnamon on top just to give it some color. I think if I were to make it again I would definitely try adding the fruit as it was a little plain and sweet for my taste.