It's Cake Slice Time! And the cake chosen for this month was Tres Leches Cake from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. If you've never had one, a tres leches cake is generally a white sponge cake soaked in a sweetened three milk mixture and topped with whipped cream. I had every intention in making the recipe as the recipe author intended but I have a chocolate loving husband and he turned his nose up to the milky vanilla version. He requested I make a chocolate version and so I did. I made minor changes to the recipe, like substituting cocoa in place of some flour and adding vanilla to the batter instead of lime zest in the milk sauce, but it added a big punch of flavor and changed the cake completely. My husband loved it!
Before I tell you more about this cake, I wanted to thank you all for your kind words regarding the loss of our sweet fuzzy bunny, August. We don't know the cause of his death, all we know is that is happened quickly. All his life he's had respiratory issues but the doctors were always perplexed by him. He'd express mucus from his nose and he'd gasp for air but as soon as he cleared it, he was fine. It happened periodically for really no reason at all and we'd help him along by suctioning and wiping. We changed his diet, we gave him different meds and we eliminated things one by one in his cage thinking it was environmental. This became a part of his life but he wasn't suffering or in pain- it was just an annoyance, kind of like allergies. We tried all kind of things to make his life better and made many midnight trips to the emergency vet and no one ever knew how to "fix" him.
On Wednesday morning he was having another episode. I held him and stroked his fur. He seemed fine then all of a sudden he began to thrash his legs and tried to escape from my grip. We tried to calm him down so he wouldn't hurt himself, but something was wrong. He kicked off of me and fell. I picked him up and noticed he was no longer struggling but he was still breathing. Moments later as Mr. H was holding him, he passed away and it just seemed to happen so fast. We think his passing was a result of being over stressed- they can can work them selves up and give themselves heart attacks along with the fall, though it was a very short one. He was more than a rabbit- he was a member of our family. We got him after the boys died and he's been a joy in our lives when we were at such a low point. His life, as I see it, was cut short, but while he was a part of our family he was very well taken care of and loved wholeheartedly. We miss him so much.
Now it's hard to jump from talking about the passing of our bunny to talking about a cake, so I will just wrap it up by saying that this cake was rich, creamy, delicious and wasn't too sweet. I added chocolate to the milk mixture, but leaving it plain or adding vanilla or almond extract would be great too. The recipe didn't yield enough milk mixture in my opinion so I've increased that amount in the recipe below. I topped my cake with sweetened cocoa cream and served it with berries. The recipe below reflects my changes- I cut the recipe in half and added chocolate, but if you're interested in the larger (9x13) vanilla version, click here.
Chocolate Tres Leches Cakeadapted from Southern Cakes
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Adapted from this Original Recipe
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cups (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 oz. melted chocolate or chocolate syrup (optional)
Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 8x8-inch pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa and baking powder and stir with a fork to mix.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat with a mixer at high speed to mix well.
Adds the eggs one at a time, beating well each time and stopping to scrape down the bowl now and then until the mixture is light, fluffy and smooth. Add the vanilla.
Add one third of the flour mixture and then half the milk, beating at low speed each time just until the flour or milk disappears into the batter. Add another third of the flour and the remaining milk, then the remaining flour in the same way.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes (mine took 40 mins), until the cake is golden brown, springs back when touched lightly in the center and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
While the cake bakes, make the milk sauce. You want the cake to still be warm when you add the milk mixture.
Milk Sauce: Combine the milk, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and the semisweet chocolate or chocolate syrup (if using) in a medium saucepan. Heat gently over medium heat, stirring often until the mixture forms a smooth, steaming hot sauce. Do not let it come to a boil.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes before using.
To Finish: Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Poke holes with a toothpick all over the cake.
Slowly pour the warm milk sauce over the warm cake, in stages stopping to let the cake absorb the sauce before adding more. You may not need it all but you can add more later if you need it.
Let the cake stand at room temperature for one hour before covering and refrigerating. (I let it chill overnight, but a few hours is plenty). Top with cocoa whipped cream (recipe below) and serve it straight from the pan.
Cocoa Whipped Cream from Monica H
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
In a medium bowl, combine heavy cream, sugar and cocoa powder. Mix at medium speed til creamy and fluffy, but don't overbeat or you'll be left with a curdled mess.
Top the cooled tres leches cake with the sweetened cocoa cream. Serve with fruit if desired.
I was going to link this post to The Cake Slice Bakers blog so you could go check out their cakes, but for some unknown reason that blog isn't up and running at the moment. When that issue gets resolved, I'll link it up. Until then, I hope everyone has a nice weekend.