Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pastel de Tres Leches - Hispanic Heritage Month

 tres leches cake recipe 1a

This month we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15th to October 15th. During this month, America celebrates the cultural and historical contributions of the people who came to this country from Mexico, Central and South America, and Spain. September 15 is a day of celebration in many Latin-American countries, since they declared their independence between the 15th and 18th of September. Some of these countries include Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.
As someone who was born and raised in Mexico, I've found that there aren't many differences in how people from other Latin-American countries were raised; our roots, customs, and traditions are very alike. It’s actually funny when you meet someone from another country and find out that you watched the same TV shows or ate the same snacks as kids.

At the end of the day, it’s the simple things that connect us the most, like enjoying a cup of coffee with our friends and family. When you invite someone over for a cup of coffee in Latin America, you know that hours of good conversation will follow. I remember that my mom would always offer visitors something cold to drink or a hot cup of coffee, depending on the weather. And when I say “coffee”, I don’t mean the kind that you grind and brew in a coffee machine. No, we were brought up drinking Nescafe. Yes, Nescafe, the granulated coffee that only needs hot water and “La Lechera” to make a good cup of “Café con Leche” almost instantaneously.

Even today, you can go to any Latin store and see people buying the exact same things that you’ve lived with for as long as you can remember, products like Chocolate Abuelita, Nescafe (instant coffee mix), and La Lechera (condensed milk). All these products are now readily available almost everywhere, starting from your local Wal-Mart store.

To celebrate the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, let’s make a cake, one that’s associated with birthday parties, graduations, baptisms, and all kind of celebrations (I guess we always have a good excuse to celebrate!). Many people love Pastel de Tres Leches. Some trace its origin to Nicaragua, others to Mexico, but I guess what matters is how good it tastes and how easy it is to make it!
 Tres Leches8

La Lechera”: that is the name of the condensed milk made by Nestle. “Lechera” means “milk lady”, and if you look at the picture on the can, you can see that there’s a lady holding a pot of milk on her head. #NuestroSabor #CollectiveBias

12 SERVINGS
INGREDIENTS:


  • Butter to grease the pan
  • 1 ¼ cup All Purpose Flour, sifted (plus extra for dusting pan)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt*
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (1 stick)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

FOR THE MILK MIXTURE


  • 1 can condensed milk NESTLE LA LECHERA
  • 1 can Evaporated milk CARNATION
  • 1 cup of Heavy Cream or 1 can of “Media Crema Nestle”
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 Tablespoons rum or brandy (optional)

FROSTING

  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream ( the one you buy at the dairy fridge section)
  • 4 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

GARNISH:


  • Canned fruit like peaches, mangos or fresh fruit like strawberries and kiwis. If using fruit to decorate, add just before serving.

NOTES:


  • *If using salted butter, omit the 1/4-teaspoon of salt.

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Turn oven at 325 degrees F. Make sure to adjust oven rack to middle position. Grease and flour a 13-by-9 inch pan and set aside.

Tres Leches Cake recipe4
2. Place flour, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl and whisk together to mix.

Tres Leches Cake recipe5
3. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs one by one on a medium speed, for about 45-60 seconds, and slowly add the sugar as in a light dusting, until all sugar is incorporated. The egg mix will be very fluffy and turning a light yellow.

Tres Leches Cake6
4. Reduce speed of mixer, and slowly add the melted butter and then the vanilla. Keep the mixer running in low.

Tres Leches Cake7
5. Add the flour in batches and mix until combined. You can also do this step using an spatula and gently fold the flour into the egg batter. DO NOT OVER MIX.

6. Transfer batter to your prepared pan using a rubber spatula to help you spread the evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cake looks light golden or a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the cake.

Tres Leches recipe
7. Remove the cake and transfer to a wired rack to cool completely. Poke the top of the cake using a toothpick, skewer or fork all over.
MILK MIXTURE:

Tres Leches recipe
8. Whisk condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream together with the vanilla and rum in a sauce pan, warm over low heat until completed mixed. Remove from heat and set aside.

Tres Leches recipe

9. Once the cake has cool pour the milk mixture over the cake, cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerated for 4 hours or overnight.
FROSTING:
10. Place heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and mix on medium speed until soft peaks form. This will take about 2. I usually place the mixer attachment in the freezer and the bowl in the fridge before making whipping cream. This trick always works to form a smooth and fluffy frosting.

Tres Leches cake recipe 12
11. To assembly the cake, spread the whipped cream over the cake. Decorate with fruit as desired. Refrigerate to chill until ready to serve. Remember, if decorating with fruit, do not add until ready to serve.  Enjoy your cake with a cup of hot Chocolate Abuelita (almost every Walmart store carries these products).


Provecho!Mely




38 comments :

  1. How would you make this for a birthday cake?would the cream hold up for the filling ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Swissmiss,

      You will need to make it in a baking pan that has a detachable bottom. After baking and slightly cool remove the cake, and place in a shallow plate that will hold any liquid form the mix of milks while you place it in the fridge.

      Delete
  2. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe Mely! My niece's birthday is coming up and I'd love to make the cake for the celebration.

    I have you to thank for inspiring me to cook more. I'm from Ecuador and live in NY, but my boyfriend lives in Veracruz, Mexico (I love to cook for him when I visit) and one of his favorite dishes is Enchiladas suizas. I made them for his birthday, following your recipe, and he was so happy - he said they were the best enchilada suizas he ever had. And that's a lot coming from him - he loves to eat!

    En fin, estoy endeudada con usted y sus recetas - he probado ya varias y nunca me han fallado. Asi que estoy mas que segura que este pastel le encantara a todos.

    Mil gracias por sus deliciosas recetas y la forma tan clara en la que las presenta.

    Abrazos,
    Emerita

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can egg whites be used, wondering if it would have too much of an eggy taste

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Omayra,

      The tres leches cake is usually made with egg whites only. My family doesn't like the eggy sponge texture and flavor. That is why, I make it this way. But you can make it just with egg whites.

      Delete
    2. How many more eggs if using just egg whites?

      Delete
  4. I made two for New Years Eve - one with the tres leches sauce flavored with Khalua and one flavored with Gran Marnier!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Melissa Martin,
      It sounds so delightful with Khalua, I need to try that.

      Happy New Year!

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Mely
    Just wanted to say thank you for posting this recipe. I made this for my boyfriends birthday and he loved it and told me its the best he has had here in the States. I added coconut to the frosting. I will have to try Khalua or Rum Chata next time..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Leslie,

      I'm so glad you and your boyfriend enjoy the cake.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Delete
  7. What is the purpose of cooking the milk mixture in a saucepan? I've never seen any other recipe do this and I was just wondering if it makes a difference to cook it or not?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,
      Yes, many recipes call for the three types of milk to be mixed, and then added to the already baked bread. But, there is a chemical reaction when you warm the mixture, it slightly reduces volumen making it thicker, and enhance the flavors.
      But, you can still just pop everything in a bowl and mix. Happy cooking!

      Delete
  8. What exact kind of liquor should I use.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I made this cake for dessert last night. I have made several recipes of Tres Leches, but this cake, without a doubt, was the most delicious that I have ever tasted. One of my dinner guests, who is from Honduras, said it was the best he had EVER eaten. Thank you so much. This recipe will now go in my "hall of fame" recipes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you fro taking the time to come back and comment about the recipe. Happy to be part of you "Hall of Fame" recipes! ;)

      Delete
  10. When you call for heavy cream does that mean heavy whipping cream? I went to the grocery store & was unsure what to buy

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi, do I need cake mix to do this or with the all purpose flour be the one to use pretty much as a cake mix?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Rocio,

      Only use the all purpose flour.

      Happy baking!

      Delete
  12. Hello , May I use cake flour instead of all purpose flour?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you can prepare a regular vanilla or golden cake box mix. I know people that make it that way with great results.

      Happy baking!

      Delete
  13. I had tres leches before made by a woman from Mexico & it was so delicious. The best cake I had ever had. I have bought tres leches from stores through the years & they have never been the same. I found this recipe online & the cake looked just like the woman's cake from Mexico. I followed the recipe exactly & it turned out so delicious! It tasted just like the other cake I had had. I made two of these & took it to a cookout. Everybody kept talking about how delicious my cake was. It was a big hit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Shelly,

      Thank you for trying the recipe, and for taking the time to come back and write about your experience with it.

      Happy cooking!

      Delete
  14. Hi! How does it taste better with whipping cream or the media leche?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Lety,

      It taste good with either one, the only difference will the old fashion- homemade taste given by using media crema.

      Happy baking!

      Delete
    2. Just remember that for the frosting you need to use Heavy cream, the one sold at the dairy fridge section at the supermarket.

      Delete
  15. I made this once before exactly like your recipe called for. Can you elaborate on step 5 are you supposed to add more flour? Step 1 is showing you add the flour then. The reason for my concern was I was hoping the cake would be a little higher. It's Delish either way just curious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I didn't see this before. When I say to add in batches, I mean add the flour little by little and not all at once. The reason of adding the flour this way is to keep the fluffiness of the egg batter. I hope this explains it.

      Delete
  16. I bought Media Cream Table Cream is that what I need for the whipping cream for the icing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Tonya,

      The media crema is mixed with the condensed and evaporated milk to soak the cake. For the frosting you will heavy cream.

      Delete
  17. Mine came out a little flat. What did I do wrong? Help?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Crystal,

      At the time of mixing the egg batter with the flour, it has to be in a very gently folding manner, to keep the batter fluffy. Other thing, could be the baking powder, did you check the expiration date? Don't give up on the recipe, many people had tried with great results.
      Happy baking!

      Delete
  18. my cake came out thin not as thick as in the photos, how come?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Kelly,
      So many things can happen while baking. Baking is a science by itself, sometimes is the temperature of the oven, the eggs not fluffy enough, baking powder with a pass due expiration date. Do not give up on the recipe, several people had tried it with great success.

      Delete
  19. I am planning on making this for Christmas. However, I will be traveling about 25 minutes. I live in Maine, so I can keep the car relatively cool. Can I put on the frosting before I leave (allowing some time to refrigerate it) or should I do that after I get to my destination?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Lourdes,

      You can do it both ways. It will be find, but if you plan to add the fruit, then add the fruit just before serving. Happy holidays!

      Delete

Your comment will take some time to appear. Note: Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Subscribe