Monday, February 2, 2015

Chocolate Rum Tres Leche

Tres Leche a traditional mexican cake seems to be the most popular cake amongst people I know. I never had to heart to tell anyone that I never liked it. To be honest (being a bong) it feels like a cake soaked in Rasmalai and I always wondered why would you do that. My husband is ok ok with it so Jan being his birthday month he gets to throw a baking challenge my way. He picks his flavors and wants me to bake him something. This year however it was fairly descent challenge where all he told me was "Make me love Tres Leche".

So here is a Tres Leche with a twist. Disclaimer: people who love traditional Tres Leche try with caution. This one's bold and meant for experimental pallet.

After searching the internet I really liked this recipe and went with it completely. I am usually a rebel who doesn't follow recipes from the net. But this time decided to go with the recipe completely and it was a super duper hit. Off course made my own judgement on the sugar level, cream level and how much to soak. Also assembling the cake can be tricky since the cake is soaked and super duper moist.


For the cake:
         3/4 cup water
         2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals
         1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
         1 3/4 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting the pans
         2 teaspoons baking powder
         1/2 teaspoon baking soda
         1/2 teaspoon plus 1 pinch fine salt
         1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
         5 large egg yolks
         1/2 cup vegetable oil
         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
         8 large egg whites
         3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the tres leches:
         4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
        1/2 cup half-and-half
         1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
         1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk (not nonfat)
         1/2 cup dark rum

For the filling and top coating:
         2 cups very cold heavy whipping cream
         1/2 cup powdered sugar
         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        Semisweet chocolate, for garnish


  • Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat the sides and bottoms of 2 (9-inch) cake pans with butter. Cut 2 rounds of parchment paper and place in the bottoms of the pans. Butter the tops of the parchment and dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess; set aside. 
Place the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, add the instant coffee, and stir until dissolved. Place the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl and whisk in the hot coffee until there are no lumps. Let cool slightly, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Sift the measured flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar into a large bowl; set aside. Place the egg yolks, oil, and vanilla in a separate large bowl and whisk until combined. Pour the cooled cocoa mixture into the egg mixture and gently whisk until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth; set aside.
  • Place the egg whites, the remaining pinch of salt, and the cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed until the egg whites begin to turn white and foamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, about 1 minute. Continue beating until stiff and glossy peaks form, about 2 minutes more.
  • Using a rubber spatula, stir about one-third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten the mixture. In two additions, gently fold in the remaining egg whites, making sure no white streaks remain but being careful not to deflate the whites. Equally divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake side by side, rotating halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool the pans on a rack for 10 minutes, then unmold the cakes onto the rack to cool completely. Wash the cake pans.
Using a serrated knife, trim a very thin layer from each cake top, just enough to even out the surface and expose the inside of the cake. Return the cakes to the cleaned cake pans; set aside.
Tres Leches:
  •             Place the chocolate in a large, heatproof bowl. Place the half-and-half in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring it just to a boil. Pour the half-and-half over the chocolate and let it sit until the chocolate has softened, about 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the condensed milk, evaporated milk, rum, and salt until smooth and combined.
  •             Divide the tres leches mixture into 2 equal portions. Starting with 1 cake and 1 portion, pour as much of the tres leches mixture over the cake as possible. Repeat with the second cake and tres leches portion. Set the cakes aside until they begin to absorb the mixture, about 20 minutes. Continue to add more of the mixture until all of it has been added, about 30 to 40 minutes more. Cover the cakes with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours, or freeze 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the cakes are easier to handle. (They may not completely absorb all of the mixture.)
  •             Turn the cakes out of the pans by inverting each onto a plate over the sink, as some unabsorbed mixture may spill out.
For the filling and to assemble:
  •             Place the cream in a chilled bowl and whip until slightly thickened. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue beating until thickened and smooth.
  •             To assemble the cake, place 1 of the cakes on a serving platter. Using an offset spatula or long, thin knife, spread about one-third of the filling evenly on top. Place the second cake on top and evenly spread the remaining filling over the top and sides of the entire cake. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to let the whipped cream set.

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