Sunday, July 17, 2011

Torta de las Tres Leches

This week, the HCB are off baking the Chocolate Tomato Cake, which I baked with group the first time around in August 2010. Since the tomato cake is a cake most of us faced with trepidation, I decided to also bake a cake that I had serious reservations about: the Torta de las Tres Leches.

This is a cake that is soaked in a whole lot of milk, which to me sounds like a horrible idea. I don't like to drink milk so why would I want to eat a cake that is literally oozing milk? Luckily, I didn't think it tasted terrible, and in fact many HCB loved the cake.

Torta de las Tres Leches

July 17, 2011
Name of Cake: the milky cake
Occasion: HCB
Constituents: one biscuit de Savioe, soaked in a milky mixture and frosted with whipped cream (more milk!)

Since I was so hesitant about this cake, I decided to make a half recipe and baked it in my 7x3 pan. This pan is getting a lot of use lately!

Torta de las Tres Leches

The cake is a simple biscuit with an ingredient list that you can count off on one hand. Eggs, sugar, cake flour, vanilla, salt. Everything but the flour is mixed together and heated over a pan of simmering water until quite warm, and then furiously beat for five minutes in the KA. Since I had a half recipe the eggs were fully beat at the two and a half minute mark. The flour is sifted onto the eggs and folded in. My cake baked for just about 30 minutes before testing as done.

Torta de las Tres Leches

Like sponge cakes of this type, the cake must be unmolded right away and left to cool completely. In the meantime, the milky stuff is made.

Torta de las Tres Leches

The milky stuff is a mixture of nonfat and whole milks with a touch of sugar, which is reduced by half. The reduced milky stuff is poured into a bowl, the sweetened condensed milk and cream are stirred in, and refrigerated until the cake is ready. And yes, if you are counting, there are four milks in this milky mix.

Torta de las Tres Leches

Once the cake is ready, it is wrapped up in plastic wrap, placed back in it's cake pan, the wrap is opened and all the milky stuff gets poured into the cake. Surprisingly, the cake slurps it all up without complaint. The plastic wrap is tucked around the cake, which gets an overnight in the refrigerator.

Torta de las Tres Leches
Violet likes milky cakes

Before serving, whipped cream is beat to stiff peaks and spread over the top of the cake. Yes, if you are counting, that makes five milks in this milky cake. As the cake is unmolded and served milky stuff pools around the bottom of the cake. For a non-milk lover like myself the pooling milky stuff does not help me find it appealing.

Torta de las Tres Leches

Surprisingly, the cake retains its texture and toothsomeness (is that a real word?). Yes, it is milky, and wet/moist, but it isn't a big soggy mess. Thank god for that, too, otherwise I'd be having none of it. The flavor is obviously really milky and slightly sweet, sort of like melted vanilla ice cream. It is not bad. I ate my slice without complaint. However, I do not think I will ever be making this again, unless by request.

I found myself wishing this cake was soaked in a whole lot of chocolate milky stuff, or coffee milky stuff instead. Either one of those I could get behind, and might try once this bake through is complete.

a sour cherry from the tree in the yard
Jenn said she'd never seen a sour cherry, so here's one from the tree in the yard

This cake has been baked twice during the bake through:
Marie made it before the bake-through became a group project in June 2009.
Hanaa guest-hosted the group's baking of the cake in January 2010.
Last Cake, Next Cake for the group bake can be found here.


  1. My granny makes the most delicious Tres Leches ever! But yours looks good too.

  2. I don't like milk as a drinkable thing myself, but I love whipped cream, ice cream, creme fraiche, cheeses, etc. You just have to stop thinking of milk as in a glass of milk, I guess.
    Now I'm really confused about sour cherries--I always thought the dark cherries were bing (which I call sweet) cherries, and sour, or pie, cherries are bright red.
    This calls for further research by someone, not necessarily me.

  3. I was wondering why you are hesitant about this cake - if you don't like milk it makes sense. I'm not a big fan of milk by itself either, it has to be in dessert form (ice cream, cream, cake).

    Your cake is so tall!!! That looks like it's 2 inches plus? And I love the swirls of cream on top and the photo of the cake with the slice together.

    And.. thanks for taking a photo of the sour cherry tree! I'm feeling xtra special now :)).

  4. Jen, thank you! It is hard to compete with a granny's beloved recipe.

    Marie, yes, turn milk into whipped cream or cheese or other fermented products and i am all for it. but milk as milk? mot so much.

    about the cherries--last year they all fell off the tree when they were bright red, but this year they've hung on until dark red. either way, they are small like a sour cherry so that's why i thought they might still be a sour cherry. i'm allergic to fresh cherries so i can't try them myself. (well, i guess i could pick a few and cook them.)

    also, there are many varieties of sweet cherries that are not deep red so that's another reason why i decided the size was the deciding factor? clearly you are right, and this needs more research from other, more cherry-learned people.

    Jenn, my cake turned out to be 2.5 inches. Thanks for liking my first photo!

  5. ב''ה

    We also were not so into the sloppiness of this cake. Great pics!

  6. Girl you need to make my version and I will convert you.. I promise....

  7. Mendy, I laughed for a good minute after reading your comment. Sloppy indeed!

  8. Monica, If I get a request from someone to make Tres Leches I'm totally gonna try yours.

  9. Marie, I think I might have a morello cherry tree. At least, according to what I found on wikipedia.