Thursday, February 11, 2010

Heavenly Cake Bakers: Torta de las Tres Leches

Yet another catch-up post, this one for the Heavenly Cake Bakers group. The assignment for January 18, 2010 was the "Torta de las Tres Leches" from Rose Levy Beranbaum's "Rose's Heavenly Cakes."

I'm sorry folks, there are no pictures for this post. My cake wasn't as nicely decorated as some of the others, but I wish I'd gotten a close-up -- the cake crumb was lovely and light and spongy, just like it was supposed to be. Sponge cake success! Yes!

Rose's version starts with sponge cake made with whole eggs. I'm getting pretty good at whipping up whole eggs with sugar, even with my hand-held mixer. It took longer (about 10 minutes) but eventually they reached the right stage -- very pale, very thick, looking much like soft whipped cream or softly beaten egg whites. I managed to fold in the flour without deflating them too much.

I made a half-recipe in a 6-inch round springform pan that is about 2 3/4 inches tall. There was a lot of batter, so I put a tall collar of parchment paper around the pan. As it turned out, I didn't need that -- the cake rose just to the top of the pan, but not over. It was slightly domed in the center, as Rose said it was supposed to be.

After cooling and removing the crust, the cake is then soaked with the "three milks" mixture. For this recipe, we had to simmer a mixture of skim milk and whole milk until it was reduced to half its volume. That was a pain. It almost boiled over once, but I caught it in time. Fiddling with the heat, stirring (not all the time, I just couldn't stand doing that) -- I don't think I'll bother with that again. I ended up with a lot of "skin" on top of the milk, and it had to be strained before using. Next time? Canned evaporated milk all the way, baby!

OK, in go sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream. I added Mexican vanilla extract, too, because some folks had said theirs seemed a bit bland without it. It was a good idea -- I loved the flavor.

After soaking the cake for a day in the fridge, I mixed up some caramel whipped cream to spoon over each slice. (For the whipped cream, I melted a couple of home-made honey caramels in some heavy cream, chilled it, then whipped it .) Yum! Or at least I thought so. I love, love, love Indian-style "milk sweets" (kheer, gulab jamun) so I loved this dessert as well. Jim said it was good, but he didn't love it. Ah well, difference is the spice of life.


Patricia @ ButterYum said...

So glad you added the extra vanilla - I didn't and it was practically a flavorless cake. Also, I'm completely with you on the evaporated milk. No way I'll ever reduce milk on the stove top like that again... it didn't even taste good when it was done!


Anonymous said...

Your caramel whipped cream sounds wonderful! I haven't eaten or baked a tres leches cake yet, but I'd love to give it a try.