Pastel de Tres Leches
No, I am not Mexican but last week my husband asked me if I could make something (or help him make something) for the Cinco de Mayo celebration at his office. A lightbulb immediately went off in my head. I remembered that my niece M had sent me a delicious looking Cuban cake recipe that she had gotten from a friend of hers. M is half Italian and half Cuban. She enjoys the cuisine of both cultures. I did some reading about Pastel de Tres Leches and found out that it may have originally been made in Mexico. It is traditionally made for Cinco de Mayo celebrations. I'm glad M shared this recipe with me. If you want some more background information on Tres Leches Cake, click here.
Pastel de Tres Leches
4 whole eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 can half & half or whole milk (use the empty condensed milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tbsp light rum (optional)
Whipped Cream Topping:
1-½ cups whipping cream
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
Strawberries (approximately 12)
Preheat the oven to 350°
Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 inch aluminum container.
Add the baking powder to the flour and mix it in a little with a spoon/fork.
Beat 4 whole eggs at medium speed. (For high altitude, use jumbo size eggs.)
Slowly add the 1 cup of sugar (as if you’re making merangue).
Once you’ve added all the sugar to the eggs, add the flour and baking powder and mix.
Add the batter to the prepared pan and bake. Set the timer for 25 minutes but watch it. It’s ready when the top gets light brown. Do the toothpick test. It’s a little like a soufflé so be careful setting it down, it might collapse in the middle. (If the cake deflates, don’t worry, it’ll all be covered up with the whipped cream topping.)
Once it’s cool, make little holes all over the cake with a toothpick or a knife.
In a blender, put the 3 milks, the vanilla and the rum. Blend well.
Pour the milk mixture over the cake slowly. Not all at once. Pour a little, let it soak in and then some more. Place cake in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
Whipped Cream Topping: When ready to serve, combine the whipping cream and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar, whipping until thick. Spread over top of cake. Place the strawberries on top of the cake in rows.
Because of the milk in the cake, it is very important that you keep the cake refrigerated until serving.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
The Creative Cook