I happen to think that condensed milk is probably one of the best tasting things in the world. Yes, in the world. Needless to say, anything that has condensed milk in it is high on my list.
This is where Tres Leches cake comes in. Although the origin of the cake is disputed, Tres Leches is Spanish for three milks – cream, evaporated and yes, condensed. Talk about a trifecta.
I made it. I liked it. I’m going to stop talking now.
Pour the cake batter into the pan. Bake it at 350.
Take a fork and poke holes into the cake.
Pour the magic condensed milk potion over the cake. Let is soak in.
Chill. Top with cream and berries.
Tres Leches Cake with Berries
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 medium cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pint berries
Sweetened whipped cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the eggs with the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla at medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Add half of the flour mixture and mix at low speed until just incorporated. Gradually add the whole milk, then mix in the remaining flour mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back to the touch. Transfer the baking dish to a rack and let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk the cream with the evaporated milk, cinnamon stick and cloves and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
In a heatproof bowl, combine the condensed milk with the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla and the ground cinnamon. Strain the steeped cream mixture into the condensed milk and stir to combine. Let cool for 20 minutes.
Using a fork, poke holes all over the cooled cake. Gradually pour the milk mixture over the entire cake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
In a bowl, gently toss the strawberries with the sugar. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
Cut the cake and serve with the berries, whipped cream and mint.
This recipe is adapted from the April 2011 issue of Food & Wine.03