Collegiate Cooking: Tres Leches Cake

I am absolutely a dessert person. Chocolate, cookies, ice-cream, cake, cupcakes, anything. I love it all, but like many teenage girls, I tend to be laden with guilt if I indulge when I know I shouldn’t. But every now and then, I discover something so absolutely delectable that it completely negates my guilt, leaving me completely content with my decision to eat my weight in dessert.

A few nights ago, I discovered that it is possible to concoct one such taste of heaven in the dorm—my friends and I had dorm-made Tres Leches cake that made the Top 5 List of Foods I’ve Eaten at Georgetown, and I wanted to share the joy of this recipe with you. It’s a bit complex, but when properly made, it is a little bite of melt-in-your-mouth euphoria. I hope you love it as much as I did!

What You Need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

How to Make It:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan until it is well coated.
  2. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Separate eggs.  This is a great cooking skill to learn! Don’t rush it, because it requires some care.  To separate an egg, you’ll need two bowls. Lightly crack the egg carefully in the middle.  Separate the shell into two parts, being careful to keep the yolk and the white in the lower half.  Pour the egg from one half of the shell to the other over the bowl, allowing the white (the clear part) to pour into one bowl while keeping the yolk (the yellow) intact in the egg shell.  Repeat as many times as necessary (carefully!) until only the yolk remains in the shell.
  4. Pour the yolk into a separate bowl.
  5. Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar until yolks are pale yellow. If you have an electric mixer, use a high speed; otherwise, use a whisk.
  6. Add milk and vanilla to the egg yolks and stir.
  7. Pour egg yolk mixture over flour mixture, stir gently until mixed.
  8. Beat egg whites until peaks form. Again, if you have a mixer, use a high speed. While still mixing, add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
  9. Fold egg white mixture into other mixture very gently until barely combined.
  10. Pour egg yolk mixture over flour mixture, stir gently until mixed.
  11. Beat egg whites until peaks form. Again, if you have a mixer, use a high speed. While still mixing, add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
  12. Fold egg white mixture into other mixture very gently until barely combined.
  13. Pour mixture into pan, spread evenly.
  14. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes (until your toothpick comes out clean).
  15. Turn cake out onto a platter and let it cool. Once it has cooled, make several holes in the surface with a fork.
  16. In a pitcher or cup, combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and 1/2 cup heavy cream.
  17. Slowly pour all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture onto the cake, making sure to get as much of the mixture around the edges as possible. Let the cake sit for 30 minutes to absorb the milk for 30 minutes.
  18. The original recipe suggests coating the cake in whipped heavy cream, but I personally loved it plain—up to you!
  19. ENJOY!

Credit for my discovery this recipe goes to Anna Highberger, but the original source is ThePioneerWoman.com.

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