If the saying goes " American as Apple Pie, then the saying for our vecinos ( neighbors) below the border would be Latin as " Tres Leches Cake".
That is where this yummy cake originated. The actual birthplace of this Latin dessert is disputable between tres paises diferentes ( three different countries). Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico. All three lay claim for this Queen of Pastel ( cakes) being native to their countries.
The jury may still be out on who invented this cake, but I give mil gracias ( a million thanks) to my amigo Chulo who introduced this pastel delicoso to me! Although I'd like to believe that I already knew a lot about Latin culture before him, me being a " Gringa-Latina" ( American girl with an amor for everything Latin).
Chulo really opened my eyes to so many more awesome traditions, arts and culture within America Latina. There is nothing like spending time with someone who grew up within a culture , to help give you a taste of what it's really like and bring you closer to yummy, dulce, out of this mundo (world) cakey goodness like Tres Leches Cake!
adapted from : Marcela Valladolid, Mexican Made Easy
My version of this cake has a little rum, a traditional tres leches cake does not contain alcohol. In many Latin American countries the addition of alcohol to the cake changes the name to a
" Pastel Borracho" meaning drunken cake.
Nonstick cooking spray, for the cake pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the cake pan
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 tablespoons Bacardi Gold Rum
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray and flour a 10-inch cake pan with 2-inch high sides and then line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper.
Mix the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until frothy. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar and beat to stiff peaks. Beat in the yolks, 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the whole milk in 2 additions.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool the cake slightly, about 10 minutes, then invert onto a platter with 1-inch high sides.
Pierce the top of the cake all over with a thick skewer. Mix the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, 1 cup heavy cream and the Bacardi rum in a medium bowl. Pour the mixture over the cake while warm. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours or overnight.
Combine the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream onto top of the cake and garnish with maraschino cherries, strawberries or even peaches.
Optional: I wanted a little filling in my cake, so I made a little extra whipped cream mixed with strawberry jam to create an extra sweet center to the cake. You can use any flavor jam that sounds yummy : passion fruit, guava or mango sound pretty delicioso to me as well!