Tres Leches or three milks cake but spiked with creamy Baileys Irish Cream? YES! This is a delicious version of the classic tres leches or "three milks" cake. A delicious sponge cake is soaked in three different milks and Baileys and then topped with a Baileys whipped cream and fresh cut strawberries for that bit of extra indulgence! I called her María
Tres leches cake hails from Latin America and this soaked cake was said to be a great way to use up any stale cake by soaking it in a milky, sweet mixture. Some say it comes from Mexico, others say Nicaragua while others say that the recipe was on the back of a tin of evaporated milk. It's a cousin of trifle cake and tiramisu both cakes that employ soaking cake or biscuit in a liquid mixture to soften the cake or biscuits.
The cake part of tres leches is usually a sponge cake which is light enough to soak up all of the milks. Sponge cakes by their very nature tend to be drier cakes while other cakes tend to be richer so sponge cake is ideal to use. The sponge that I use comes from a lovely Chilean chef and reader Constanza Latorre who showed me how to make a Chilean Tres Leches cake at her home a few years ago. This sponge cake doesn't require the yolks and whites to be separated and is very easy and straightforward to make.
I have couple of tips for making sure that your sponge cake rises beautifully: make sure that your eggs are room temperature and heat your sugar up in the oven! I also put the eggs a bowl of hot water to warm them up even more before cracking them open. Also make sure to sift your flour and baking powder a total of three times. Sifting is a necessary evil for sponge cakes.
The three milks in a tres leches cake are typically evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and cream however I changed it and added coconut milk because I think it tastes better. In this case we add another "milk" in the form of Baileys. You can also use Kahlua or Amarula or a similar creamy liqueur. I also added some vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and I promise you these add so much deliciousness to this cake!
While tres leches cake may sound intimidating, it's actually lots of fun and easy. The sponge was baked before I even knew it and there's a certain satisfaction from poking holes in the light, airy cake that you just made and then watching all of the milks soak into the cake. Then it's a layer of Bailey's whipped cream and you're done! It was so delighted at how easy and tasty this cake was.
I got excited about something else the other day and just a warning: it's something slightly odd. We were talking about dying (I mean seriously, we're not depressing people but the subject of death does seem to come up more nowadays just naturally). I find the topic of death fascinating and while I know that some may think its grisly, I am a ghoul after all (and Halloween is around the corner!).
Mr NQN said that wants to be cremated and sprinkled in the ocean. Of course I panicked, "But what about me? I don't want to be cremated!" I said. I just don't like the idea of being burnt up, maybe I really was a witch in a past life but please bury me in a silk lined coffin in my best dress please. And make sure to do my makeup and hair, that's very important. I'll provide a photo for guidance.
I told Mr NQN that he had to be buried next to me because I don't like to be alone. Then he made a brilliant suggestion. "Would you like to be buried with Mochi?" Little Mochi is taxidermied and as soon as he suggested it I was delighted with this idea. I can't imagine a better way to be at peace with my beloved Mochi sitting by my side in my coffin.
"Why are you so happy?" he asked. "I LOVE this idea! I'm so excited that I'm going to be buried with Mochi!" I said happily. Which goes to show like Mr NQN says that I get excited about the oddest stuff.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you get excited about odd things? Do cakes excite you? And is it cremation or burial for you?
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Baileys Tres Leches Cake
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 7 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 30 minutes plus overnight refrigeration time
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- Butter for greasing baking tray
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 120g/4.2ozs. caster or superfine sugar, heated in an 50C/122 oven for 5 minutes
- 120g/4.2ozs. cake flour, sifted twice
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
For Milk Soak
- 250ml/8.8flozs. coconut milk
- 250g/8.8flozs. sweetened condensed milk
- 175ml/6flozs. evaporated milk
- 75ml/2.5flozs. Baileys Original Irish Cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For Cream Topping
- 600ml/21.2flozs. cream
- 3 tablespoons caster or superfine sugar
- 2 tablespoons Baileys Original Irish Cream
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Butter a 23x33x8cms or 9x13x3inch rectangular baking tray brushing the butter vertically up the side with a pastry brush.
Whisking eggs and sugar until thick and fluffy
Step 2 -Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk on medium high speed for 8 minutes. The mixture should be very voluminous and almost reach the top of the bowl.
Sifting flour mixture into the eggs before folding
Step 3 -Sift the flour and baking powder into the egg mixture in 4 lots making sure to fold it in carefully and not deflate the mixture too much. Make sure to combine the flour in well-there's always some flour near the bottom of the bowl so make sure to incorporate that well. Any bits where the flour isn't mixed in will produce tough parts in the cake. Scoop into the cake tin and smooth over with an angled spatula. Tap the tin gently against the counter to get rid of big air bubbles and then bake for 20-25 minutes or until the centre springs back when gently touched. Cool completely in the tin resting on a cake cooling rack.
Make sure to mix in all of the flour while folding
Step 4 -Poke holes all over the cake-use a skewer and poke vertically. Whisk the coconut milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk, Baileys Original Irish Cream, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a jug together. Then pour over the cake distributing it all over the cake. It will look like it will pool around the centre but make sure to pour it around the outside edges of the cake. Cool completely.
Soaking the cake with the milk soak
Step 5 -Whip the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form. Add the Baileys Original Irish Cream and whip until you get thick, spreadable peaks. Smooth over the cooled cake and cover and refrigerate overnight. Decorate with halved strawberries and mint leaves. You can also dust with some ground cinnamon.