Torta de las Tres Leches

This week’s heavenly cake selection was the Torta de las Tres Leches. Marie at the Heavenly Cake Place had already made this cake way back in May, long before Rose’s Heavenly Cakes was officially released. Hanaâ requested this cake especially for this week, to make for her husband’s birthday, so she’s the ‘guest host’ this week. I really expected to love this cake, based on everyone’s description. You’ll have to wait to the end of the post to hear my thoughts.

The first step in making this cake is reducing some skim and whole milk with a bit of sugar down by half. I took a picture at the start of this process, so I could compare the colour at the end. I was curious whether there would be a noticeable difference.

Milk just starting to steam
Milk just starting to steam

It turns out there was.

Reduced most of the way
Reduced most of the way

I stopped paying attention to it for a minute at one point early on and ended up having to strain it then clean out my pot because it got a little scorched on the bottom. Other than that, it was easy to evaporate, but rather time consuming. Like several others, I have to wonder what it is we gain by doing this ourselves rather than buying evaporated milk, but I’d like to think that Rose has a reason. 😉 I also ended up straining the milk mixture after it had cooled, because it developped some chunks that weren’t too appetizing looking.

The cake part comes together pretty easily. You heat the eggs, sugar and vanilla over a double boiler, then beat the heck out of them.

Eggs, vanilla, sugar
Eggs, vanilla, sugar
Starting to lighten in colour
Starting to lighten in colour
Light and fluffy
Light and fluffy

Meanwhile, while your mixer’s going, go sift your cake flour.

Flour
Flour

Sift the flour over the egg mixture, fold it in gently in two batches, then spread into your prepared pan. I finally (not that I’d really looked beyond the grocery store previously) found some baker’s non-stick spray with flour at the local wholesale grocery store. Remind me to go back there when I run out. I also bought something like 1000 muffin (who am I kidding? cupcake) liners for about $7 CAD.

Prepared Batter
Prepared Batter

The cake came out of the pan beautifully, aside from a slight dip in the center, and a bit of un-levelness due to my off-kilter kitchen. We’ll be leveling the floors there when we start our kitchen project (hopefully this spring)!

Cake!
Cake!

So, then you take the top & bottom crusts off, in order to allow the cake to absorb the forthcoming milk, and stash it back in its pan, wrapped in plastic wrap.

naked cake
naked cake

Pour on the milk, wrap it up tight, and stick it back in the fridge.

Soaking up the milk
Soaking up the milk

Then, wait. And wait. And wait. And after all the good things you’ve heard about this cake, you just know it’s going to be fantastic. 24 hours later, you’re ready, and so is the cake. Whip up some cream as the ‘icing on the cake’ (because you can never have too much dairy), and serve.

Dig in!
Dig in!

Jay loved it. He likened it to when ice cream melts into birthday cake. He asked me to bring him a piece when I was coming upstairs to write this tonight. If you’ve read this blog previously, you already know he doesn’t have a big sweet tooth, so that says a lot about a cake. Me? You want to know what I thought of it? Well, I didn’t particularly like it cold from the fridge, so I took a piece to work today in my lunch and left it at room temperature for a couple of hours before eating it. I hoped that would improve it. I liked it even less. 😦 The flavour was excellent, albeit very sweet. The cake itself seemed to have kind of a dry texture, while still being very wet. I don’t know how to explain why I didn’t like it, I just couldn’t get my head around the juxtaposition. In my opinion, there’s a big difference between a moist cake and a dry but soggy one. As much as my hubby loved it, I don’t even want to take the leftovers into work because I disliked it that much. Maybe the soggy-ness will more thoroughly absorb into the cake in another day?

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8 thoughts on “Torta de las Tres Leches

  1. Wow, you’ve expressed my sentiments on this cake perfectly. I really didn’t like it either, although my oldest daughter really loved it. I’ve considered looking for another recipe for it that uses a different style of cake that would be less dry/soggy and one that has more flavor than just the condensed milk- perhaps coconut milk might work better. Anyway, nice job on the sponge cake it looks perfect.

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  2. Oh funny your husband likes ice cream melted into birthday cake! I said the exact same thing to my daughter about the texture last night. I like smooshy ice cream so maybe that’s why this didn’t bother me. Your photos are great and the cake came out lovely.

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  3. ButterYum: Funny, cilantro’s another of those that hubby loves and I don’t. I don’t mind a small amount in things, but I don’t like there to be enough that I can tell it’s there.

    Jenn: I’ll probably give it another try tonight straight from the fridge and see if I like it any better.

    Thanks for the compliments on my cake, everyone. 🙂

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  4. Love that your off kilter kitchen lead to a slightly sloping cake!

    I think your husband may be a closet sweets lover, or else you have turned him completely – well done you!

    I don’t think I could eat this cake if it wasn’t cold. Something about room temperature dairy products doesn’t really appeal to me. 🙂

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  5. I didn’t find that the cake absorbed more of the milk on successive days–more that the milk drained down the cake leaving the upper parts very dry. Fascinating how differently this cake acts with the liquid, unlike the usual butter cake that gets soggy and turns to mush. Anyway, on day 3 I was spooning up the ‘wept out’ liquid over the dry parts of the cake to combat the dryness.

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