A few months ago I had the opportunity to accompany my sweet husband on a business trip to Austin, TX. I had a relaxing couple of days away from my kids while he worked. I got to hang out in the hotel room and read and SLEEP! The highlight of our quick trip was getting to see a dear friend who lives there. We met her and her husband for dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Chuy’s. Even though we were stuffed at the end of the meal we decided to follow their lead and order a piece of Tres Leches. We had never had this dessert before and we were thrilled by the deliciousness of it. It is a sponge cake soaked in three types of milk, chilled, and served with whipped cream and strawberries. It was so stinking good that we had to go to another Chuy’s the next day just to get this dessert to share. We have been talking about it ever since.
So, I decided that since we don’t live near Chuy’s I would have to figure out how to make Tres Leches myself. I decided Father’s Day was the perfect occasion. I found a recipe on allrecipes.com but I didn’t like the method used. I read how to make sponge cake in my Williams Sonoma baking cookbook. I used their method to make the cake and I also tweaked some of the ingredients in the recipe. All the changes made me a bit nervous that it wouldn’t turn out right, but it actually turned out perfectly. It was super delicious and my husband was raving about it! My kids all LOVED it and they usually don’t eat too much of the desserts I make.
Here is my recipe:
Recipe: Tres Leches
Yield: 9x13 pan
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, minus 1 Tbsp
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup white sugar, divided
- 5 egg yolks
- 5 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ c. powdered sugar
- Freshly sliced strawberries
Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl with a wire whisk and set aside. Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a mixer bowl and the yolks in a small bowl.
Beat the egg whites until they are frothy and starting to thicken slightly. Very slowly add ½ c. white sugar. Beat until they are stiff and glossy but not dry. You should be able to turn the bowl over without having them come out. Remove them from the mixer bowl and set aside. In the mixer bowl, beat the softened butter and the remaining ½ c. sugar till butter is light yellow. Add the vanilla. One at a time, add the egg yolks, mixing well to incorporate each one before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to mix in 1/3 of the flour mixer into the butter mixture. Then, fold in 1/3 of the egg whites, being careful not to deflate them as much as possible. Add another third of the flour, and then another third of the egg whites. Repeat with remaining flour and egg whites.
Pour batter into 9x13 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until center springs back gently when poked, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, combine the whole milk, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk in a small saucepan. Heat just enough to combine them…not very hot at all. Once the cake comes out of the oven allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Use a fork to poke holes all over it every ½ inch or so. Then, pour the milk mixture evenly over the top of the cake. Allow to cool to room temperature and then cover and place in the refrigerator overnight or at least until it is cold.
When ready to serve, whip the cream and add the powdered sugar to sweeten it slightly. The cake is VERY sweet so you don’t need the cream to be super sweet. Top the cake with the whipped cream. Place a piece on a plate and top with sliced strawberries. Enjoy!