Tres leches cake or three kinds of milk cake with a tropical twist. A delicious sponge cake soaked in milk and topped with meringue.
In May we celebrate Mother’s Day. For many, it’s a day of celebration and for others, it’s a hard day but maybe with beautiful memories.
In recent years I haven’t had a chance to celebrate it with my mom. It’s hard being far from my sisters and my cute little nephews too.
But there are always friends. Friends who are also far from their moms and loved ones. So, that’s my excuse to make another delicious cake.
Passiflora edulis is a vine native to southern Brazil through Paraguay and northern Argentina.
The fruit called passion fruit, it’s seedy and with a beautiful aroma.
Passion fruit in Paraguay tends to be sour. It’s great for making juice and adds a distinct flavor to desserts.
We have a vine behind our house. The flowers are so beautiful. I never get tired of looking at them and photographing them.
Tres Leches Cake
Tres leches cake is a cake soaked in 3 different kinds of milk. Condensed milk, whipping cream and evaporated milk.
Evaporated milk is a bit difficult to get in Paraguay. You have to go to special stores to find them.
For today’s recipe I used coconut milk, condensed milk, whipping cream, and to give it an extra flavor, passion fruit, and some rum.
In a lot of our South American countries, we have a common sponge or cake recipe. This type of cake is called bizcocho or bizcochuelo.
Bizcochuelo is a simple, few ingredients sponge. Tends to be dry, and is usually soaked in some kind of syrup. Like my peaches and cream cake.
Preparing cakes with filling takes a little more time than doing one without it. I hope the detailed steps will help you make this yummy cake!
Happy Mother’s Day!
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar (200g)
- 1/2 cup milk (125ml)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour (250g)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 can condensed milk (395g-14oz.)
- 1 cup coconut milk (250ml-8oz.)
- 1 cup whipping cream (250ml)
- 1/2 cup passion fruit pulp or puree (125ml)
- 1/4 cup rum (60ml)
- 3 medium egg whites (100g)
- 1 cup sugar (200g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup passion fruit pulp or puree
- Sponge: Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease and flour 2 round 9-inch cake pans (24 cm).
- Separate the whites from the yolks. Add the egg whites to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until it begins to foam. Add 1 cup of sugar by spoonfuls. Beat until fluffy and white.
- With the mixer on, add the yolks, one at a time. Pour milk of a little bit at a time and vanilla, until well mixed.
- In a small bowl, mix 2 cups of flour and baking powder. Add flour to the egg mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time. Mix with a wooden ladle with enveloping movements, from bottom to top, so as not to deflate the eggs. Continue until all the flour is mixed.
- Divide the dough into the two round cake pans and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and the center of the cakes feels firm to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and turn the cakes over to a cooling rack (this helps it to have a flat top). Leave the cakes there for 5 minutes. Turn over and with a knife release the edges (make sure the cake can come out of the cake pan).
- While the cake is hot, make holes. Immediately pour half of the milk mixture to each cake. (do this in 2 steps, it doesn’t absorb everything at once)
- Milk mixture: In a large measuring cup, mix all the ingredients. If you are doing this with fresh fruit and you do not want the seeds, you can heat everything in a saucepan, on low heat. Then strain it through a colander. The milk left is infused with the delicious passion fruit flavor but without seeds. Once you pour all the milk on the cakes, leave them in the refrigerator overnight, or about 4 hours.
- Meringue: In a medium bowl, add egg whites and the sugar, mix well. Set the bowl over a small pan with simmering water (it should not touch the water). Stir constantly the sugar is dissolved. You can touch the egg whites with the tips of your fingers to check. It takes between 2 to 5 minutes (mine took 3 minutes).
- Add the whites to a clean bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until the bowl doesn’t feel hot to the touch (about 3 minutes). Add vanilla and beat 1 more minute. If desired, add more passion fruit pulp and mix it with a ladle.
- How to assemble the cake: Put a plate on top of the cake pan and turn it over, the cake should come out without much help.
- Spread half the meringue with the help of a knife. Making sure there is meringue on the entire surface.
- Remove the other cake from the cake pan with the help of a plate. The cake should be cold, and a little firm. Slide the cake from the plate on top of the other cake. Add the rest of the meringue and finish decorating the cake.
This cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days without the meringue.
In Paraguay, whipping cream comes in 3 different containers. Cups, tin, and bags. The ones in the refrigerator are the fresh ones. For this recipe, I recommend that you use the one that comes in bags, as they are more liquid.
Do not use double cream or heavy cream.
I found this post on What’s Cooking America that explains the different kinds of cream in the US and the UK.