Tres Lesches/Pastel de Tres Lesches/Torta de las Tres Leches is a popular cake in Mexico and Latin America. It is a sponge cake or butter cake soaked in three kinds of milk: condense milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk or cream and then frosted with whipped cream or meringue. There are a lot of recipes for Tres Lesches around with additional flavors and garnishes as fresh fruit, coconut, nut, chocolate, and various liqueurs. Different people prefer different styles-soupier or firmer texture. This recipe is adapted from a Mexican cookbook “México the beautiful cookbook” and “Rose’ heavenly cake”. If you have a favorite sponge/butter cake just use it. In this cake, whole eggs are beat together not separated as in other recipe.
6 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1¾ cups/7 oz bleached all-purpose flour or 2 cups cake flour, sifted
Butter to grease the pan
One 9×3 in. round pan or springform pan,
2 round cooling wire rack , greased lightly with butter or non-stick spray
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup whole milk, whip cream or heavy cream
2 Tbs to 1/4 cup rump, brandy (optional)
1½ cups heavy cream
3 Tbs superfine sugar (if not available use regular sugar)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F 20 minutes before baking. Spread a even thin layer of soft butter on bottom and sides of the pan with a pastry brush or just your fingers. Pour a little flour in the pan and shake it around the pan until the flour cover all the interior surface. Turn the pan over and knock out any excess flour. I hardly use extra layers of parchment paper and have not had any sticking problem thus far.but if you like to line the pan with parchment paper then do as you wish.
2. Place eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium bowl or saucepan over a saucepan with simmer water. Whisk constantly until warm to touch and sugar dissolved. Transfer to a mixing bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attached, beat at high speed for 5 minutes. The mixture will be pale, thick, light in color and increase the volume to 4 times.
3. Sift 1/2 flour onto the beaten egg. Fold flour into the egg mixture gently but quickly by a silicon spatula, skimmer, or a whisk balloon. Repeat with the remaining flour until all flour disappeared. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown, the side comes away from the pan and the cake tester or toothpick inserted int he center come out clean. Invert the cake to a cooling crack and reinvert it again onto another cooking rack. Let it cool completely with the top up. Poke the cake with a toothpick or small skewer.
4. While waiting for the cake cool down, mix condensed milk, evaporated milk,heavy cream well in a 1 quart measure cup or a large bowl.
5. Put the cake into a rimmed platter or the baking pan (washed and dried) and pour the milk mixture over the cake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator overnight.
6. In the mixing bowl, add heavy cream, sugar, vanilla chill in the fridge at least 15 minutes along with the whisk. Whip with low speed until soft peak form, then increasing speed to medium high until stiff peak form when raising the whisk. Spread on the top of the cake with a spatula or decorate with star tips. Chill in the fridge until serve. As the cake sits, a small amount of milk mixture will ooze around the bottom.
If making ahead the day before, need to stabilize whipped cream with 1½ tsp gelatin powder as in the Black Forest cake.
Bleached all purpose flour is used here help to make the crumb tender but unbleached all purpose flour still makes a good cake.