Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pastel de Mango con Tres Leches

When I was looking for a sweet bite to end our Cuban-inspired feast, I decided to finally take the plunge and attempt a tres leches cake. We had one for my dad's birthday in Costa Rica years ago. And since then, it's been on my to-cook list. This weekend, I did it!

A note about the spices: they are not traditional. But I had my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf and we all know how much the kid loves his spices.

For those who don't speak Spanish, or haven't had this cake, tres leches means 'three milks.' That mixture is then drizzled over a vanilla sponge cake. It was surprisingly easy and not at all soggy. Nice!

  • 1/2 C butter + some for prepping your baking pan
  • 1 C white whole wheat flour (for a lighter crumb, use all-purpose flour)
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • dash of ground coriander
  • 5 eggs
  • 1-1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 can evaporated milk (12 ounces)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
  • 1/3 C organic heavy cream
  • 1 C organic heavy cream
  • 1 mango, sliced
  • 2 strawberries, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking dish with parchment paper and butter. 

Melt the 1/2 C of butter in a small skillet until it just begins to brown. Remove from heat.

Separate your eggs, placing yolks in a larger mixing bowl and whites in a smaller one. Into the same bowl as the yolks, add in the flour, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, and spices. Whisk to combine. Add in the browned butter.

Beat your egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold them into your batter. Try not to deflate the egg whites too much.

Spoon batter into prepared dish and bake for 30 minutes, until golden on top and spongy to the touch.

Remove the cake from pan and cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. In the meantime, whisk together the three milks: evaporated milk, condensed milk and cream. Pour into something from which you can pour easily; I used a measuring cup.
Once the cake is cool, place it on a rimmed cake platter or plate. Poke cake with a skewer or fork to help the milks absorb. 

Slowly pour the tres leches mixture over each cake, in batches, allowing each round to soak in. I did this about 4 or 5 times to get all of the liquid poured and absorbed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To garnish - right before serving - whip 1 C organic heavy whipping cream to form soft peaks. Spoon the cream over the top of the cake. Decorate with mango slices, a dollop of whipped cream in the center, and strawberries to form the center of your "mango blossom."

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