Food Friday: Tres Leches Cake

I had to share this cake recipe with y’all even though I haven’t tried it yet, because it sounded so interesting. It uses the same device for moistness that my favorite Jello ‘poke’ cake does, except instead of Jello poured over the hot cake it’s a milk/cream mixture. It’s from Ina Garten’s new (2014) cookbook, Make It Ahead.

Tres Leches Cake with Berries

from Make It Ahead, Ina Garten

1 1/4 c all-purpose flour

2 t baking powder

3/4 t kosher salt

3 extra-large eggs at room temperature

1 c plus 5 T granulated sugar

2 t pure vanilla extract

1/2 c whole milk

1 1/4 c heavy cream

1 12-oz can evaporated milk

1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 t pure almond extract

Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean

8 cups mixed fresh raspberries and sliced strawberries, for serving

sifted confectioners’ sugar, for dustin

whipped cream [there’s also a recipe in the cookbook for this, a make-ahead version that stays whipped for a while thanks to the addition of creme fraiche]

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13x2″ baking pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl and set aside. Place the eggs, 1 cup of granulated sugar, and the vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 10 minutes (really!) until light yellow and fluffly. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add half the flour mixture, then the milk, and finally the remaining flour mixture. Mix with a rubber spatula to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 25 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched lightly in the middle and a cake tester comes out clean. Set aside to cool in the pan for 30 minutes.

In a 4-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the heavy cream, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, almond extract, and vanilla seeds. Using a bamboo skewer, poke holes all over the cooled cake and slowly pour the cream mixture over the cake, allowing it to be absorbed completely before continuing to pour on more of the mixture. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

To serve, toss the fruit with the 5 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar, cut in squares, and place on dessert plates. Surround the cake with the fruit, put a dollop of whipped cream on top, and serve.