Torta de las Tres Leches

Here it is Tuesday Wednesday, nearly exactly a week after I made this Torta de las Tres Leches and I am still struggling with my post!  I think I am a bit caked out.  Also, I watched an interview of Bob Geldof talking about the African famines and, well, all my baking seems to be so very indulgent and so excessive.  Starving children in Africa and all.  Sigh.  Must remember to not watch anything about the real world and stick to kids TV and rom-coms.

On to brighter, fluffier (if slightly soggy) things.

The cake of the three milks - truly, a bizarre cake.  Take a six egg sponge and soak in nearly five cups of milk, cream and condensed milk.   Refrigerate eight hours and then top with more whipped cream, because you can never have enough dairy right?

This cake was simple to make.  The warming of the eggs and sugar is truly inspired and creates such lightness in the final cake.  Loads of airy bubbles for all that milky syrup to ooze through.  The syrup consisted of reduced skim milk and full fat milk with a touch of sugar, cream and condensed milk.  That syrup had alot of questions amongst HCB.  Why not just use evaporated milk?  Personally, I much preferred the homemade evaporated milk to the canned stuff.  I find the canned evap milk a bit starchy and more sweet. 

I have read most of the HCB posts on this cake, and I am amazed at how differently everyone's cakes turned out.  My cake was pretty much dead flat - no dome in the middle, no crack on the top.  Some HCB'ers were the same, others were as per Rose, some had a dip in the middle.  

I scraped the top back and then poured on all that syrup, I did wonder how well the cake would retain the syrup and how much would end up pooled in the bottom of my fridge...

I am happy to report that the majority of the syrup stayed within the confines of the sponge.  Yes, some oozed out, but not enough to require me to scrub congealed, hardened sticky condensed milk from the fridge floor.  Also, in my indepth research, I discovered that this cake, once soaked is incredibly robust.  The Tupperware cake container flipped out of the fridge and landed upside down.  The cake was completely undamaged.  Seriously, you need to get one of those cake containers, they are impervious to husband's tread and suicidal flips from the fridge.

The cake was probably further protected by the overwhipped cream gracing the top.  English cream is weird.   I beat this cream to what I thought looked like perfection in the bowl.  Nice firm peaks, but in the time from removing the beaters to spreading it on the cake, it seems to become  bit too much like butter!  Forgive the detritus from dinner - it was our last meal with our fabulous neighbours who were moving back to Australia.  Sob!  My poor little (32 inches x 6ft - not including counter space obviously) kitchen works very hard when we entertain.

And in the shot below, you can see just how overwhipped that cream is.  The lesson learned this week is to underbeat (to my eye anyway) the cream and it will be fine once it makes it to the cake.  I am very envious of the gorgeously tricked out cakes that have made their way through this week's HCB line up.  Some very starry piping and even caramel panna cotta. 

I think I like this cake.  Even with the buttery whipped cream on top.  I can imagine eating this, straight from the fridge on a hot (but not humid) day.  There is something icecreamy and akin to trifle about this cake.  I love Vicki's idea of adding alcohol and even cardamon and turning it into a trifle.  I love trifle, which means that I do actually like soggy sponge, even if I gag at the thought of soggy tomato sandwiches.  So, my trepidation from last week was unduly founded.

Happy Birthday Mr Hanaa - with a cake as fabulous as the one your wife made, I can only imagine you  had a great day.

I am sitting out next week, plenty of egg whites but no Angel food pan in this house!  Look forward to reading all about it though.


  1. Haha on the husbands tread and suicidal flip comments! Sorry your whipped cream turned buttery. That's why I like to whip my cream until soft peaks, then finish by hand with a whisk - no risk of over beating it that way.

    PS - did your cake really hold all that leche mixture? Mine did until I cut into it. Now I have an ever growing pool of seeping leche. Would have been better left in the pan!

  2. Yay Nicola, I'm so glad you made this cake because I love reading your posts! I inherited a Tupperware pie, as well as a Deviled Egg keeper I will treat them more respectfully. Must look for the cake one or find a Tupperware party. You should get paid for your endorsements!

    And I agree, the world is so bleak at times it makes me feel quite frivolous. Maybe we should find a way to turn baking into fundraising.

    Do you have what we call Thrift Stores in the UK? All second hand stuff, especially from Hospice, church jumbles is it? I have my friends who love to scout them on the look out for cake pans, etc.

  3. Nicola, I enjoyed your post and wanted to tell you that I had to borrow a tube pan to make the angel food cake; it was well worth it, and I'm going to break down and buy my own now. Thanks for the idea on 2nd hand shops, Vicki.

  4. ב''ה

    Looks great! The cake looks nice and spongy. :)

  5. Good job on your cake. I didn't make it because I really don't like this cake and neither does my hubby. I always underwhip my cream especially when making mouses.

  6. Nicola - thanks for commenting on my blog! I don't have angel food pan either. I have enough egg whites in my freezer to make 2 of them. I think I will experiment and make it in cupcake pan.

  7. Thanks for all your comments... I think I am going to succumb and make the angel food cake. Those eggwhites are mocking me from the freezer.

    So, either cupcakes or in the tube pan. We will see how it goes!

    Vicki, I regularly trawl throught the charity shops (they are everywhere here! along with real estate agents and cell phone shops), but I am yet to see a cake tin. Bodes well for me, because obviously people who own cake tins never die!

  8. I have just arrived in this area and had a wonderful time catching up on your posts - your humor and antics, wish I could taste some of your creations. j


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