So my awesome boss had an awesomely good idea once she realized half the office hadn’t seen Firefly: have a Firefly marathon. Everyone would bring goodies, it would start at nine in the morning, and it’d just be an awesome way to spend a day off. (If you have no idea what Firefly is, do yourself a wonderful favor and head to Hulu and check some episodes out.)
When we went shopping for the yummies to bring to the party, it took on a mexican flavor – taquitos and tortilla chips – so I amended my original idea of strawberry pie to something more within the spectrum, tres leches cake. Tres leches cake is a rich dessert of a sponge cake soaked in three milks (evaporated, sweetened condensed, and whole), then topped with whipped cream. I add strawberries to mine because it feels incomplete otherwise. This time I tried a different recipe from my last two, and I do prefer my initial recipe.
Tres Leches Cake
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 whole eggs
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 pint heavy cream for whipping
1 heaping tbsp powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Liberally coat 9″ x 13″ pan with butter. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large owl. Separate eggs.
Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool.
Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. Add as much Kahlua as you deem necessary – I used one of those mini-bottles for two cakes, and it was just enough to flavor it. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.
Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. To ice the cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with the tablespoon of powdered sugar until thick and spreadable.
Spread over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with whole or chopped strawberries. Cut into squares and serve.
I love this cake. Even while soaked in milk, it still feels light and fluffy. The only issues I had with it were my first time around, when I felt like I was adding too much milk but in fact had left some dry spots. If you decide to make a smaller cake, or have large enough plates/platters to do this, turn the cake upside-down from how you want it presented, poke with holes, and soak that side, wait half an hour, and carefully turn it back over and repeat the process. That is the best way I have found to ensure adequate moisture throughout the cake.