3 milk cake recipe Mexican
Pastel Tres Leches is one of my favourite cakes of all time. Who could resist a cake that's been soaked in three kinds of milk, then slathered with whipped cream? Each bite releases a burst of sweet milky liquid from the spongecake, that's followed by a lingering vanilla cream flavour.
I've decided to to throw tradition to the wind here, improving on the Mexican classic by using a flour that the Aztecs used far before Europeans showed up on these shores, while at the same time applying a decidedly French technique in making the cake.
Before I go into the details about what I did, let me tell you a bit about what I was trying to accomplish. I wanted a cake that had a firm crumb that wouldn't turn into mush when doused with the tres leches syrup, but that wasn't tough. I'm not a huge fan of chemical leavening like baking soda and baking powder in cakes because they impart a distinctly bitter minerally flavour that I don't much care for. I also didn't want to add more fat than necessary since I'd be adding plenty of that later with the tres leches syrup and whipped cream.
A basic génoise batter seemed like the perfect base for this cake. I wanted to give the cake a slightly irregular texture with some corn notes, so I substituted a combo of cornmeal and masa harina for the flour. If you want a more delicate texture, just use all masa harina. As a happy consequence of using corn based flours, this tres leches cake is also gluten free!
The génoise may sound a bit involved, but this is really quite a simple cake to make, especially if you have a stand mixer with a metal bowl. The only thing you really need to pay attention to is the amount of time you beat the egg mixture for. There's no butter in this cake, which means that's one less thing to think about and since there is no wheat flour, there's no need to worry about over mixing when you're incorporating the flour. Just be gentle when folding in the flour as you need the tiny air bubbles in the egg mixture to make the cake rise properly.
Unlike most cakes, this one benefits from a day or two in the fridge, so it's a great make ahead cake for a birthday or tea party. On the day of the event just slice up some fruit and put it on top. I've used strawberries and kiwi berries for this one, but it's also fantastic with mangoes or passion fruit.
Fine ground cornmeal
for tres leches syrup
Sweetened condensed milk
Cream (half and half)
- Setup a double boiler by filling a pot large enough to hold your mixer bowl and bring the water to a simmer. Move your oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9" cake pan to prevent the finished cake from sticking.
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