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How To Make Tres Leches Cake: A Popular Costa Rican Dessert

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Final updated on September 28th, 2017 at 03:46 pm

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COSTA RICAN FOOD AT HOME

Think about June Clever as a Tica. She would probably spoil her husband Ward on a nightly basis with hearty helpings of a few of Costa Rica’s most infamous dishes (rich in flavour and custom), including casado, tamales, or olla de carne. She may accompany these dishes with a glass of horchata or a bottle of Imperial, and for dessert, she might prime off the meal with flan de coco, arroz con leche, or one among a variety of other candy delicacies. The choices are countless; Depart it to Beaver, and we guess he’d choose one among Costa Rica’s most popular postres: tres leches cake.

Though I am hardly a “traditional homemaker” in the June-Intelligent sense, I really like to include traditional Costa Rican cooking in our residence. Though Ricky’s persona is nearly the other of the Ward-Intelligent sort, he doesn’t complain when our fridge is stocked with conventional Costa Rican treats. Considered one of his favourites is tres leches cake (three-milk cake, in English), and thankfully for me, it is among the easiest desserts I make.

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OUR TRES LECHES CAKE HEALTH DISCLAIMER

It’s value noting that the preparation of tres leches cake breaks nearly each meals rule that I comply with. It’s unhealthy in a mess of the way, and since Ricky and I keep a fairly strict nutritious diet saturated with nutrient and vitamin-packed meals decisions, entire grains, little or no sugar, and vegetarian (if not vegan) elements, our consumption of the dessert is actually taboo. This being stated, as an occasional deal with that we solely bask in a few times annually, we permit ourselves the cheat. If you will get previous using white flour, processed white sugar, and egg yolks, the high fats content material that outcomes from using butter, evaporated milk, and condensed milk, and the dessert’s astronomical sugar content general, tres leches cake is value a taste.

<img data-attachment-id="177910" data-permalink="https://costaricatravelblog.com/how-to-make-tres-leches-cake/img_1745/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/costaricatravelblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/IMG_1745.jpg?fit=4272%2C2002&ssl=1" data-orig-size="4272,2002" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta=""aperture":"4","credit score":"","digital camera":"Canon EOS REBEL T3","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1480054591","copyright":"","focal_length":"18","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.025","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="tres leches cake" data-image-description="

Photograph taken by Nikki and Ricky Solano © Copyright 2007-2018 Costa Rica Journey Weblog (Pura Vida! eh? Inc.)

A notice from the photographers: If the above image appears elsewhere on-line without credit score assigned to us and/or our website(s), it has been stolen. Should you wish to reproduce, quote, or paraphrase any photographs, text content, or concepts that appear on our website(s). please contact us first for permission.

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/costaricatravelblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/IMG_1745.jpg?fit=300%2C141&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/costaricatravelblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/IMG_1745.jpg?fit=1024%2C480&ssl=1″ class=”wp-image-177910 size-full” src=”knowledge:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’%20viewBox=’0%200%201200%20562’%3E%3C/svg%3E” alt=”tres leches cake” width=”1200″ peak=”562″ data-lazy- data-lazy- data-recalc-dims=”1″ data-lazy-src=”https://i2.wp.com/costaricatravelblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/IMG_1745.jpg?resize=1200%2C562&ssl=1″/>Delicious tres leches cake!

HOW TO MAKE TRES LECHES CAKE: WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU START

Tres leches cake is ridiculously simple to make

Little technical talent is concerned, and there’s hardly any opportunity for one thing to go mistaken. The dessert consists of three principal elements: the cake base, a three-milk mixture that is poured over the cake base, and a whipped dessert cake topping.

Tres leches cake is greatest served straight from the fridge a number of hours after it’s prepared

Nevertheless, in a pinch, the dessert might be prepared and served considerably shortly, as long as you give yourself no less than two hours to assemble the components, construct the cake, and permit it ample time to chill.

The recipe I exploit requires the cake base to be constructed from scratch

For those who choose to organize the cake base from a store-bought cake mix, notice that the cake will wrestle to take care of its structure and shall be more more likely to crumble when reduce. As store-bought cake mixes are designed to supply mild and airy desserts, the cake base I make from scratch aims to supply a a lot denser foundation; this helps the base stand up to the three-milk combination it can ultimately take up, in addition to keep its shape.

The recipe I exploit depends on Dream Whip to supply the whipped dessert cake topping

Conventional Costa Rican tres leches cake makes use of a cake topping comprised of whipped heavy cream as an alternative, nevertheless I choose the lighter style of Dream Whip. When you would like to make use of heavy cream (or in case you don’t have access to Dream Whip), simply substitute it for the Dream Whip layer defined under. For convenience functions, should you would slightly to use a pre-constructed whipped topping product (akin to Cool Whip), give it a go.

The recipe I exploit works for Ricky and I

I am neither a baker nor a chef, and I don’t doubt that there is a extra professional means of tackling tres leches cake than the tactic described under. Nevertheless, this article sums up the quickest and easiest method we know to supply a dessert that appears and tastes close sufficient to how Ricky’s Costa Rican ancestors lengthy produced it, which is sweet sufficient for us. For anyone dwelling in Costa Rica who needs to attempt their hand at replicating the favored dessert at residence, or anyone who has just returned house from a trip to Costa Rica who wishes they might have more of the dessert they fell in love with while on vacation, the under recipe will do the trick.

QUICK TRES LECHES CAKE RECIPE ITEM LIST

Merchandise you will want:

  • All-purpose flour (1 half cups)
  • White sugar (1/2 cup)
  • Baking powder (1 teaspoon)
  • Giant eggs (5)
  • Unsalted butter (half cup, plus an extra 1 teaspoon for greasing the baking dish)
  • 1% or 2% milk (2 cups, plus an extra 1 cup if utilizing Dream Whip because the dessert topping)
  • Evaporated milk (1 can)
  • Sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
  • Vanilla (1 teaspoon, plus an extra 1 teaspoon if utilizing Dream Whip as the dessert topping)
  • Packages of Dream Whip whipped topping (2 packets / 1/2 field, if utilizing Dream Whip because the dessert topping)
  • Cinnamon (non-compulsory)

Gear you will have:

  • Baking dish (9×13, or comparable); ideally a glass dish with a lid (for viewing and storing purposes)
  • Giant mixing bowl
  • Blender
  • Electric mixer (elective; components may be combined by hand)
  • Spatula
  • Fork (or comparable piercing software, akin to a toothpick)
  • Sharp knife

HOW TO MAKE TRES LECHES CAKE – PART #1: CONSTRUCTING THE CAKE’S BASE LAYER

Step #1: Put together the cake batter

For this step you will want:

  • All-purpose flour (1 1/2 cups)
  • White sugar (1/2 cup)
  • Baking powder (1 teaspoon)
  • Giant eggs (5)
  • Unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
  • Vanilla (1 teaspoon)
  • Giant mixing bowl
  • Electrical mixer (optionally available; elements may be combined by hand)

Earlier than you start to organize the cake base’s batter, set your oven to preheat to 350 levels Fahrenheit.

  1. Combine the butter (room temperature or slightly warmed to soften) and sugar in a bowl. When utterly combined, the batter ought to be fluffy and grainy.
  2. Add the eggs and just one teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter, then combine. When utterly combined, the batter ought to be runny and bubbly.
  3. Add half of the flour (three/four cup) and baking powder to the batter, then mix. When combined, add the remaining flour (three/four cup) and blend again. The flour will thicken the batter; by the point all the flour has been added, the batter ought to have a doughy consistency.

Step #2: Baking the cake

For this step you will want:

  • Butter (1 teaspoon)
  • Baking dish (9×13, or comparable); ideally a glass dish with a lid (for viewing and storing purposes)
  • Spatula

Before you start to bake the cake, ensure your oven has reached 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  1. Grease the baking dish with a teaspoon of butter (or oil, when you favor it).
  2. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Use a spatula to make sure the batter is evenly distributed across the dish.
  3. Place the baking dish in the center rack of the oven.
  4. Set the oven timer to bake the cake for 30 minutes.

Step #3: Piercing the cake

For this step you’ll need:

  • Fork (or comparable piercing device, comparable to a toothpick)
  • Sharp knife

Before you start to pierce the cake, make sure that it is cooked throughout; the cake ought to be dense to the touch (not unfastened, especially in the middle). Its colour ought to be beige on prime and lightweight brown around the edges.

  1. Quickly after the cake is faraway from the oven, run a sharp knife around the baking dish’s edges to separate the cake from the dish’s partitions. The cake must be dense sufficient for you to slide the knife underneath the bottom of the cake’s nook and barely carry the cake with ease.
  2. Earlier than the cake cools utterly, use a fork to pierce holes throughout. Start by piercing holes in one path across all the cake, then pierce all the cake once once more in the other way. The holes must be close sufficient to one another to allow for ample milk absorption, but not so shut that the cake’s construction breaks or crumbles.

HOW TO MAKE TRES LECHES CAKE – PART #2: CREATING AND APPLYING THE THREE-MILK MIXTURE

Step #1: Put together the three-milk combination

For this step you’ll need:

  • 1% or 2% milk (2 cups)
  • Evaporated milk (1 can)
  • Sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
  • Blender

This step couldn’t be easier, yet it makes the tres leches cake what it’s.

  1. Mix the 1% or 2% milk, evaporated milk, and condensed milk right into a blender and blend for one minute. As a tip, I depart the lid on the can of the condensed milk so I can prop the can up on the highest of the blender to let all the sticky contents drain out (as displayed in the picture above). When utterly combined, the mixture ought to be runny and resemble milk, but barely more beige in colour.

Step #2: Apply the three-milk combination to the cake base

For this step you will have:

  • Cooked case base
  • Three-milk combination
  • Sharp knife

With the cake base cooked and partly cooled, the dessert is prepared for its showstopper!

  1. Pour 1/3 of the three-milk combination instantly from the blender over the top of the cake base. Attempt to pour the three-milk mixture evenly across the cake. Wait a number of seconds for the milk to soak into the cake by means of the holes.
  2. Pour 1/3 of the three-milk combination instantly from the blender over the top of the cake base once again and wait a number of seconds for that round of liquid to absorb. Goal to pour more of the combination into the holes in the midst of the cake. Naturally, the milk will movement toward the sides of the baking dish, permitting the sides of the cake to soak up more milk than the middle. By pouring the combination primarily in the midst of the cake, you’ll be able to assist the center take in as a lot milk as the sides.
  3. Pour the remaining 1/three of the three-milk mixture instantly from the blender over the top of the cake base, making certain that every part of the cake acquired ample liquid. Use a sharp knife to barely pull again the cake from the baking dish’s edges to ensure that the combination can attain the cake’s corners (the advantage to utilizing a glass baking dish is that you will be able to hint the liquid’s trail). If need be, use the knife to tug puddles of the mixture that acquire across the baking dish’s edges into the center of the cake.
  4. Place the baking dish within the fridge for 10 minutes to allow all remaining liquid to seep into the cake. The absorption course of is full when you’ll be able to not see puddles of the three-milk mixture on the top of the cake; the cake itself shall be lighter in colou and mushy to the touch.

HOW TO MAKE TRES LECHES CAKE – PART #3: CREATE AND APPLY THE WHIPPED DESSERT CAKE TOPPING

Step #1: Prepare the whipped dessert cake topping

For this step you will want:

  • Packages of Dream Whip whipped topping (2 packets / half field, if using Dream Whip because the dessert topping)
  • 1% or 2% milk (1 cup)
  • Vanilla (1 teaspoon)
  • Mixing bowl (washed/dried, if utilizing the same bowl because the one you prepared the cake batter in)
  • Electrical mixer (elective; elements could also be combined by hand)
  • Cinnamon (elective)

The first instruction offered under is identical instruction offered on the Dream Whip product’s packaging.

  1. Combine the milk, vanilla, and Dream Whip product in a bowl. Mix quickly for three to four minutes, or as soon as the whipped combination types peaks.
  2. If desired, sprinkle cinnamon liberally excessive of the cake. Notice that this instruction is completely optionally available; since Ricky doesn’t often look after cinnamon, I choose to not sprinkle it over everything of our cake, nevertheless since I really like cinnamon, I maintain the shaker close by for every time I reduce myself a person piece.

Step #2: Apply the whipped dessert cake topping to the cake base

For this step you will have:

  • Cooked cake base with three-milk mixture absorbed
  • Whipped dessert cake topping
  • Spatula

Pull the cake out of the fridge; it’s time so as to add the final touch!

  1. Scoop the Dream Whip mixture out of the mixing bowl and onto the cake base. Spread the combination evenly across the cake using the spatula.

TRES LECHES CAKE TIPS

Retailer the cake within the fridge and serve it cool

Although the cake will final for a lot of days, the longer you wait to eat it, the soggier it is going to be. We advocate consuming the cake inside two days of preparation.

Minimize/serve the cake from the identical dish the cake was ready in

Given the cake’s moist composition, the cake could be troublesome to switch once constructed, and the pool of the three-milk combination on the bottom of the dish could be messy to cope with.

When you would like to bake the cake in a smaller dish, scale back the recipe amount

Alternatively, for those who use the same amount of components with the intent of making a taller/thicker/fuller cake (as opposed to the comparatively thin cake that a spread-out 9×13 baking dish produces), the top outcome won’t be the same. With a taller cake, nearly all of the three-milk mixture will sink to the underside half of the dessert, which can depart the top half of the dessert dry and flavourless. Because of this, tres leches cake is greatest served as a short-but-wide piece, versus a tall-but-thin slice.

When you would like to make a low-fat tres leches cake, use low-fat evaporated milk and low-fat condensed milk

I’ve baked tres leches cake utilizing each low-fat options up to now and noted little difference in the cake’s high quality, aside from the the low-fat version not having as a lot of a rich taste. For regular milk, don’t use lower than 1% milk.

Don’t be postpone by the cake batter’s bitter taste/odor

In contrast to normal “birthday cakes”, a tres leches cake’s base shouldn’t be meant to be candy and attractive; the dessert’s sweetness and flavour are offered by the three milk-mixture, which compliments the dense and boring base layer properly.

<img data-attachment-id="177912" data-permalink="https://costaricatravelblog.com/how-to-make-tres-leches-cake/img_1781/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/costaricatravelblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/IMG_1781.jpg?fit=3410%2C2848&ssl=1" data-orig-size="3410,2848" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta=""aperture":"3.5","credit score":"","digital camera":"Canon EOS REBEL T3","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1480056346","copyright":"","focal_length":"18","iso":"500","shutter_speed":"zero.025","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="IMG_1781" data-image-description="

Photograph taken by Nikki and Ricky Solano © Copyright 2007-2018 Costa Rica Journey Blog (Pura Vida! eh? Inc.)

A observe from the photographers: If the above picture seems elsewhere online without credit score assigned to us and/or our web site(s), it has been stolen. When you wish to reproduce, quote, or paraphrase any photographs, textual content content, or concepts that appear on our website(s). please contact us first for permission.

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/costaricatravelblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/IMG_1781.jpg?fit=300%2C251&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/costaricatravelblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/IMG_1781.jpg?fit=1024%2C855&ssl=1″ class=”wp-image-177912 size-full” src=”knowledge:picture/svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’%20viewBox=’0%200%201200%201002’%3E%3C/svg%3E” alt=”” width=”1200″ peak=”1002″ data-lazy- data-lazy- data-recalc-dims=”1″ data-lazy-src=”https://i2.wp.com/costaricatravelblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/IMG_1781.jpg?resize=1200%2C1002&ssl=1″/>Nikki; loving the tres leches cake!

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you tried tres leches cake in Costa Rica? What did you assume? Have you attempted to bake it by yourself? How did it go?

Pura vida!

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How To Make Tres Leches Cake: A Popular Costa Rican Dessert

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Nikki Solano

Nikki Solano is the CEO of Pura Vida! eh? Inc. and the writer of the Moon Costa Rica (2019). She also operates the Costa Rica Travel Blog and DIY Costa Rica, and is a contract writer for rent.

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