I was at our nearby Pete's Fresh Market…one of my favorite grocery stores, picking up dinner items, we were hosting dinner for our bible study. If you've never been to Pete's, that grocery has it all, a huge produce section, amazing ready-to-eat meals (packaged and also a buffet), a large variety of multi-ethnic food items with the main focus on Mexican ingredients and all at such reasonable prices. Oh and the best part, it's super clean and organized. I love walking down the aisles and seeing everything lined up neatly and everything is facing in the right direction. It's very satisfying.
But I digress…I decided to have Mexican themed dinner with fajitas, chips and guacamole and rice and beans. And then there was the question of dessert…my favorite part. I have made caramel flan in the past, but I didn't feel like having flan. Then it dawned on me, how about a rich, cool, tres leches cake? There is this bakery on Halsted St. in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, it's called Kristopher's bakery. They have this amazing tres leches cake and I've thought about making it at home. This was the perfect opportunity. And what a great ending to a meal of fajitas for everyone to enjoy.
Tres leeches cake is basically a yellow cake soaked in a three component milk mixture. The three milks that are used are sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and cow's milk (whole or half/half usually).
The soaked cake is then placed in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (the longer the more milk flavor that is absorbed into the cake). The cake is then topped with either whipped cream or if you want a lighter topping, cool whip as well. The delectable cake is then typically topped with maraschino cherries. This is an easy cake that can be prepared the night before. The texture is very soft, and the longer it is soaked, the more soft it becomes. It's sweet, but not too sweet. A perfect dessert that pairs well with a cup of decaf coffee or tea.
1.5 cups of All Purpose flour
1 tspn Baking Powder
1 stick of unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups milk (I used 2% to cut down on fat)
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 tub of cool whip or a can of whipped cream or you can make your own
1 jar of maraschino cherries or berries for toppings
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13 pan or 10x10 square pan and dust with flour, set aside prepared pan.
2. Sift flour and baking powder, mix together and set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and then add vanilla extract. Beat well.
4. Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture, one quarter at a time. Mix well.
5. Pour cake batter into pan. Batter will be thick, spread to cover bottom of pan. Bake for 25 min. or until toothpick comes out clean.
6. Cool cake. Take a chopstick or a fork and poke holes all over cake. This will help allow the milk mixture to soak into the cake.
7. Mix the three milks together and pour over cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove cake and spread cool whip or whipped cream and decorate with cherries or berries. Serve chilled. Enjoy!