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Peruvian Tres Leches

Three Milks Cake from Peru

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Sunflower - Last Update: August 25, 2017

Peru’s celebrated cuisine is not only about famous chefs, outstanding meat and fish dishes or the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, but as well about the often-forgotten sweet little temptations.

One of these in the country highly popular sweet treats is Tres Leches, translated Three Milks, a light and airy sponge cake soaked with a milk syrup made of three different types of milk - sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and whole milk (or heavy cream) – which is topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.

This absolutely delicious and addicting combination is usually eaten as cake or dessert, but to be honest works well around the clock and surely is a great soul food.

While Tres Leches isn’t originally from Peru, but rather is assumed to have been created first in Nicaragua or Mexico, and from there spread across Central, North and South America, the sweet, moist and rich cake today is “peruvianized” and can be found on every menu.

And the good thing: it’s incredibly easy to make with our recipe below not matter where you are in the world.

Photos

Eva's simple and delicious recipe for Peruvian Tres Leches

Food

Ingredients:

Cake:
180 g all-purpose flour (1.5 cups)
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs
1 pinch of salt
150 g white sugar (3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
80 - 100 ml whole milk (a good 1/3 cup)
Milk Syrup:
1 can sweetened condensed milk (397g / 14oz)
300 ml evaporated milk (1 1/3 cups)
300 ml whole milk (1 1/3 cups)
1 - 2 tablespoons tablespoons of rum (Baileys tastes delicious as well)
Topping:
250 ml whipping cream (1 good cup)
50 g white sugar (1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
cinnamon

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Lightly grease a 13” x 9” / 33cm x 22.5cm glass baking dish or another “presentable” square or rectangular baking pan with a high edge. Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside. Separate the eggs.
  2. For preparing the cake add the salt to the egg whites and beat until stiff. Then gradually add the sugar and whisk until it is completely dissolved. Add the egg yolks and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Continue to beat until foamy. Very carefully fold in the flour-baking powder mixture, alternating with the milk until the batter is smooth.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean) and remove from oven. Then loosen the edges with a knife and pierce the cake several times with a fork or skewer. Allow the cake to cool in the baking dish completely.
  4. Prepare the milk syrup by thoroughly combining the sweetened condensed milk, the evaporated milk, the whole milk and the rum.
  5. Leave the cake in the baking dish and pour some of the milk mixture slowly and evenly over it until soaked (you won’t need more than half of the milk syrup). Cover with cling film and refrigerate the cake and the rest of the liquid. After an hour soak the cake again with the syrup and keep covered for at least 3 hours (best overnight) in the fridge. Refrigerate the rest of the syrup as well.
  6. To finish the Tres Leches whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla extract until stiff. Spread the cream generously over the top of the cake and sprinkle with cinnamon. Keep refrigerated until serving. Serve cut into small squares together with the rest of the syrup – if you, like my family and friends, prefer to have lots of extra delicious milk syrup with your Tres Leches, best prepare 1.5 times the quantity.
  7. Indulge and enjoy!
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