TRES LECHES CAKE
(Three Milk Cake)
This very popular cake has many versions. No one is exactly sure about the origin. It can be served many ways, with whipped cream and fresh fruit or a meringue.
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking power
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups white sugar (divided)
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (divided)
1 cup milk
1/2 of a 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 of a 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1/3 cup coconut liqueur, Frangelico, Brandy or Chambord (optional)
1-1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
Fresh strawberries, raspberries or other berries
1. Preheat oven to 350° F degrees. Grease and flour a 2-inch-deep round baking pan.
2. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside. Cream the butter very thoroughly, until fluffy, then add 1 cup of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy using medium to high speed of electric mixer. Add the eggs and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla. Beat well using high speed of mixer. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well until blended on lowest speed of mixer. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bang cake batter in pan against the counter to remove bubbles in batter. Bake for 30 minutes, or until firm when pressed.
3. When cake has finished baking, cool 15 minutes then remove from pan. Let cool completely. When cake is cooled, cut in half horizontally with a long bladed knife.
4. Combine the milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk with the coconut liqueur, Frangelico, Brandy or Chambord in a large mixing bowl or blender and blend well.
5. Lift the top half of the cake off and set aside. Place the bottom half of the cake on a large serving dish with a rim. Pierce it several times, then slowly pour enough of the milk mixture onto the bottom half of the cake until well saturated. Replace the top half of the cake onto the bottom half, pierce it and carefully pour the remainder of the milk mixture over the top. Pour slowly so that the milk mixture has time to soak into the cake.
6. Soak and chill the cake for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight) in refrigerator. Using whisk beater and medium-high speed of electric mixer, whip the cream until foamy, then gradually add ½ cup of sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla and beat on highest speed until stiff. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with fresh fruit.
Note: A 3 egg white meringue could be substituted for the whipped cream. Reduce sugar to 1/4 cup.