Friday, September 12, 2008

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake, or 3 Milk Cake, is a popular dessert offered in Mexico. With the growing population of Hispanics in North America, this delicious cake is now offered in ever growing numbers of restaurants across the United States as well.

Where it originated is unclear. Some say Nicaragua, some say Mexico. There are even reports that makers of evaporated milk developed this cake recipe to encourage consumers to purchase its product.

As food historians have noted, the 3 Milk Cake has similar characteristics to Tiramisu, Rum cake, fruitcake or even bread pudding, some of which originated in Europe. The main similarity is that the cake or bread is soaked in a tasty liquid prior to being served. So in their opinion, it is quite possible that the idea to create a “soaked” milk cake was fashioned after one of these delicious recipes.

The three types of milk that are poured over the warm cake are: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and whole milk or cream. Some pastry chefs have experimented with this recipe and have introduced additional soaking mediums. Some of these, similar to tiramisu, are a simple syrup infused with some type of liqueur, coffee, brandy, or rum. The cake is frosted with whipped cream flavored with vanilla, or any type of liqueur that you like.

But for the purpose of remaining authentic, the Tres Leches Cake is simply made with three types of milk.

Of course no one said I couldn’t make it in chocolate, did they? So, here is my version of a Chocolate Tres Leches Cake, just for you. Enjoy.

{If you want the non-chocolate ((gasp!)) version of the Tres Leches Cake, go to my Mexican-American Border Cooking blog for the recipe. I know you will enjoy that one too.

Cake:

6 eggs, separated
2 cups light brown sugar
2 cups flour
½ cup cocoa
3 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cups milk
2-teaspoons vanilla

Tres Leches Sauce:

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 ½ disks Mexican Chocolate, melted (these can be melted in microwave oven for about 1 ½ minutes or over a double boiler)

Combine sauce ingredients and blend well.

Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly grease and dust with cocoa powder, 2 (9 inch) cake pans.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine milk and vanilla.
Beat 6 egg whites until stiff. Reduce speed and gradually add brown sugar to beaten egg whites. After sugar dissolves, add yolks. Beat for 3 minutes.
On medium low speed, alternate flour and milk mixture to eggs until blended. Pour equally into 2 prepared cake pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.
While still warm, poke holes into cake layers with a wooden skewer. Pour sauce over both layers and allow to cool in refrigerator.

Ganache:

¾ cups whipping cream
1 1/3 cups chopped Mexican Chocolate
2 teaspoons vanilla

Heat cream in small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Place chopped chocolate in medium size bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate and stir with wooden spoon until melted. Add vanilla. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate in refrigerator for 1 hour. Also place beaters in refrigerator to chill. Remove from fridge and whip on high for 2 to 3 minutes until it reaches spreading consistency.
Carefully remove first cake layer from pan and place on cake plate or board. Spread ½ cup ganache on top. Place second layer over the first and completely frost cake with remaining ganache. Garnish if you like with edible flowers or chocolate covered strawberries or, as in my case, Amaretto Cherries. These are cherries that have soaked in Amaretto in the fridge for a couple of hours, drained and allow to dry naturally. Use your imagination to decorate this cake in any way you and your family would like. Enjoy.

13 comments:

Ben said...

Chocolate tres leches cake? Brilliant! I can taste it from here :-p

Megan said...

Everything is better in chocolate, in my ever so humble opinion! ;)

Gloria Chadwick said...

Your cake looks so good. I love chocolate. I can almost taste it from here.

Happy cook said...

Thankyou for visiting my place.
Love the cake. Especially for a chocolate lover like me :-)

Andrea said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! Have you ever tried Jacques Torres Wicked Hot Chocolate? You might love it. He makes it with ground sweet ancho chili peppers and smoked, ground chipotle chili peppers. I bet you could figure out something amazing to do with it!

~Priscilla~ said...

i love tres leches cake, but chocolate tres leches cake sounds yummy! thanks for stopping by my blog, i hope you and your husband enjoy the cookies, we sure did!! always glad knowing people enjoy my blog...

Bren@Flanboyant Eats said...

HOw interesting, but makes perfect sense!!! Yum!

Noreen said...

Well said.

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