Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Belated Cinco de Mayo (or maybe I should just say Happy Nueve de Mayo)

Either way it's a good day for a Tres Leches Cake. D and I celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a beans and rice dinner, some good beer and of course Tres Leches Cake. The first time I tried this deliciously milky cake a friend of ours had made it for a dinner party and it was like nothing I had ever tasted. The cake was served surrounded by a pool of milky white and without any frosting on top. I wasn't sure quite what to expect. Once I dug in I found the cake to be absolutely fantastic and I have wanted to try making my own ever since. Most of the recipes I have come across call for a layer of whipping cream on top but the version we had did not have whipping cream on top so I decided to leave it off mine as well. It has been a few years since I tried this cake and I have been meaning to make it ever since and what better day to attempt this creation than Cinco de Mayo?

On another note I mentioned last week that D recently had a birthday. For his birthday I gave him a home beer brewing kit. Over this past weekend we attempted to brew beer, well actually it was mostly D and one of his friends, but I did keep an eye on things while they went to pick up a pizza because beer brewing is a hungry business. Anyway things seemed to run relatively smoothly as far as I could tell with only a little hiccup here and there, but we are still unsure about what to expect. I have heard stories of the beer exploding during the fermentation process and also that the first batch almost never turns out so naturally I am a little concerned. So my question to you is, have you ever brewed beer and if so was it a success or a failure and do you have any advise for a novice home brewer? 

Tres Leches Cake
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
8 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 cup plus 1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar
5 Eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13 inch pan, line with parchment paper draping over the sides (see picture below) then butter the parchment and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed for about a minute. Decrease speed to medium-low and slowly beat in the sugar over the course of a minute, scraping the sides and bottom as necessary. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and again scraping the bottom and sides as needed. Beat in the vanilla. In a separate bowl whisk together the rest of the ingredients and beat into the egg mixture in 3 parts until just incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Once cake is done cool in pan for a few minutes then carefully remove cake from pan using the overlapping parchment paper to lift cake and place on a wire rack to cool. Once cake has cooled poke holes over the entire top of the cake with a fork. Trim the edges and cut into squares. Place squares into a large dish with sides (I had to use two dishes for this) then prepare the glaze.

12 ounces Evaporated Milk
14 ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk
3/4 cup Half and Half
1/2 cup Coconut Milk (the full-fat kind) 
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Whisk all of the ingredients together then pour the glaze over the cake squares. I found it best to use a large measuring cup with a spout so I could easily pour the glaze. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Top with whipping cream if you like. 

Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker where it was adapted from Alton Brown


1 comment:

  1. Ok, first of all this looks delicious!

    Second, my husband has been brewing beer for a couple years and he loves it. He is a chemist so I think this hobby is good for him:) He always tells people the best advice is to keep everything reallllly clean. If you let in any bacteria it can mess up the whole batch! Can't wait to hear about your results!


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