Friday 3 June 2016

Milk Cake (Tres Leches Cake)

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The Mexican three milks cake!

Otherwise known as my new favourite cake.

Mainly because it begins with my new favourite sponge recipe. Guys, I'm sure you've eaten those soft, white bakery cakes and then thought, how on earth do they get them so soft and white? And, how can I recreate it at home?

Well, this Tres Leches Cake sponge gets pretty close to those bakery ones. It was one of those unexpected good surprises when I realised that the sponge was the one I had been searching for all these years. May Allah give us all more unexpected good surprises - ameen.

So, how do we make it? A sponge is made by whisking up egg whites and sugar until stiff. Then, yolks are added for a little colour and richness. In go vanilla and milk before the dry ingredients are gently folded through.

The dry ingredients include both plain flour and cornflour. The cornflour is what gives the sponge its extraordinary light texture and with the plain flour makes a homemade version of the cake flour that original recipes call for. Our sponge is baked before being completely cooled and then the fun begins!

The cake is poked all over before being soaked in a mixture of three milks - evaporated, condensed and double cream. It sits in the fridge overnight to set up and the next day, is covered with a final blanket of softly whipped vanilla cream. A garnish with the traditional glace cherries and it is done. Guys, this is my new favourite. I've made it three times so far and even used gluten-free flour in one of those times. It worked perfectly and had everyone asking for the recipe. That is how good it is.

Cream Cake, previously: polish apple cake // strawberry and chocolate cream cake // strawberries and cream cake

A Simple List of Ingredients:

For the Sponge:
1. Plain Flour
2. Cornflour
3. Salt
4. Baking Powder
5. Eggs
6. Caster Sugar
7. Vanilla Essence
8. Milk

For the Three Milk Topping:

1. Evaporated Milk
2. Double Cream
3. Condensed Milk

For the Whipped Cream Topping:

1. Double Cream
2. Vanilla Essence
3. Icing Sugar
4. Glace Cherries, to decorate

Bismillah, let's begin!

Before baking, pre-heat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4. Take a square cake tin measuring 8x8 inch (20x20 cm). I got mine here and am obsessed with it.

Grease and line the tin with baking paper and set aside until later.

First, we'll make the sponge and will start by mixing together our dry ingredients.

Grab a bowl.

Throw in 115 grams Plain Flour.

Add in 15 grams Cornflour. The cornflour is one of the secret ingredients that make this sponge so good. You may have heard of some recipes asking you to use cake flour? Well, we are making our own cake flour by combining plain flour with a little cornflour to make our cake super fluffy.

Next into our dry ingredients - 1/4 teaspoon Salt.

And, to make things rise - 1 teaspoon Baking Powder.

Once everything is in ...

... give it a whisk.

Set the bowl aside whilst we work with our eggs.

Take 3 large Eggs.

Separate them into whites and yolks. If any of the yolks break, don't worry about it!

First, we will be using the whites.

Pour them into a large bowl.

Use an electric whisk or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.

Whisk the whites on a medium speed until you get soft peaks.

Like so!

Now that the egg whites are at soft peaks, we're going to add in our sugar. 

Measure out 125 grams Caster Sugar.

Then, take a teaspoon at a time.

And, with the mixer on a medium speed, add the sugar in gradually.

Keep going ... 

... snapchatting as you go ...

.. until the sugar has all been added in ...

... and you're left with the stiff peaks.

Like so!

Then, take some vanilla essence. I get mine here! 

Add 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence into the bowl.

And, whisk it in until combined.

Next, grab the egg yolks from earlier.

We're going to add them in, one at a time.

Whisking well after each yolk.

Keep going until all three yolks have been added in!

Next, milk. I used semi-skimmed but whole is fine too.

Pour in 30 ml Milk.

Whisk in the milk, until just combined.

Next, we are going to fold our dry ingredients into the batter by hand.

Add the dry ingredients to the batter in thirds.

Gently folding in after each addition. This may take a few minutes but is worth it in the end, I promise.

Our cake batter is done. It looks so beautiful - I love it!

Gently place it into your prepared tin.

Smooth out the top and bake at 180C / Gas Mark 4 / 350F for 18-20 minutes.

Once baked, it should golden, risen and springy to the touch. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.

Let the cake cool completely in the tin. It will sink slightly but that is totally fine!

Once the cake is cold, we can make our three milks mixture.

So, take a jug.

Pour in 170 ml Evaporated Milk.

Followed by 170 ml Double Cream.

You could use milk instead of cream, if you want.

Finally, condensed milk.

Add in 200 ml Condensed Milk.

Now that all three milks are in ...

... give them a good whisk to combine.

And, our milk mixture is ready!

Before soaking the cake, take a long skewer and poke holes all over the cake.

Be sure to poke holes all the way to the bottom!

It will look weird but don't worry, our whipped cream will cover up everything!

Now, the fun bit.

The soaking!

Pour the milk mixture all over the cake.

Do this in stages, letting the sponge soak up the milk.

Use the back of a spoon to help you!

Gently tilt the tin to make sure the milk gets to all the edges of the cake.

Once the sponge has soaked it in ...

... pour on some more!

Again, in stages.

Until, it's time for the last addition.

Once all the liquid is on, the cake may look crazy wet. But trust me, a few hours in the fridge or overnight will help everything set up and become the softest thing ever!

So, we will do just that. Cover the cake and place in the fridge for a few hours or ideally, overnight.

The next morning, it's time to make our whipped cream topping.

So easy! Into a bowl, pour 300 ml Double Cream.

Followed by 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence.

And, 3 tablespoons Icing Sugar. Or to taste.

Then, using an electric whisk ...

... whisk until soft peaks form.

Now, let's take a look at our cake. It has been in the fridge and has set up.

I would strongly recommend that you serve this cake out of the tin but if you want to take it out, be my guest!

Any excess milk at the bottom of the tin can be served alongside the cake to pour over or poured directly onto the sponge before slicing.

I turned my cake upside down onto a tray.

And, peeled off the paper.

Then, I turned it out onto a cake stand.

Don't worry about those holes!

We're going to cover them with our vanilla whipped cream. So, dollop on the cream.

And, spread out with a knife or spoon. 

Like so!

And, any leftover cream can be served on the side.

Finally, the decoration. I went with Glace Cherries but you could put anything on this cake. Fresh fruit, tinned fruit, whatever!

Pop on the cherries.

And, our tres leches cake is done!

Time to slice in!

That is my slice, right there.

You guys, this is such a soft, creamy cake. I think you're going to love it!

Bake it, share it, enjoy it. A pre-Ramadan treat, if ever I saw one!

Full Written Recipe:

Tres Leches Cake.

Prep Time: About 30 minutes + chill time.
Bake Time: About 18-20 minutes.
Serves: Cuts into 9 large squares.


For the Sponge
115 grams Plain Flour
15 grams Cornflour
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
3 large Eggs, separated into whites and yolks
125 grams Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
30 ml Milk

For the Three Milk Topping
170 ml Evaporated Milk
170 ml Double Cream
200 ml Condensed Milk

For the Whipped Cream Topping
300 ml Double Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
3 tablespoons Icing Sugar

To Decorate
Glace Cherries, as needed


Before baking, pre-heat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4.
Grease an 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) square tin very well. In this recipe, I lined with baking paper but next time, I think I would butter the tin really well and not line with paper. This is because the paper gets in the way when you are soaking the cake.

To make the sponge, place the plain flour, cornflour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Mix and set aside.
Next, separate the eggs into whites and yolks. Place the whites into a large bowl and whisk with an electric whisk or whisk attachment until you get to soft peaks. Then, with the mixer on a medium speed, gradually add the caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks are formed.
Next, whisk in the vanilla essence.
Then, whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time to get everything well combined.
Next, whisk in the milk until just combined.
Finally, add the dry ingredients to the bowl in thirds, gently folding with a spatula after each addition.

To bake, gently place the batter into the prepared tin. Smooth the top and place into the oven at 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4 for 18-20 minutes. Once baked, the cake should be golden, risen and springy to the touch.

Cool! Let the cake cool completely in the tin – it will sink slightly as it cools.

To soak the cake, whisk together the evaporated milk, double cream and condensed milk in a large jug. Poke holes into the cake with a long skewer and then pour over the milk mixture, in stages. Use a spoon to help you press it in, tilt the tin if needed and let the cake sit between each addition.
Once the milk mixture is on, cover and place the cake into the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

To make the whipped cream topping, place the double cream, vanilla essence and icing sugar into a bowl. Whisk with an electric whisk until soft peaks form.

To serve, spread the top of the cake with the whipped cream and decorate with glace cherries. Slice up and enjoy!

{Adapted from Smitten Kitchen}

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your tres leches cake!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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