Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, T!

For my sister's birthday, I'm making these chicken enchiladas and this spanish rice. What I'm really excited about is the Tres Leches Cake and Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream that I'm making for dessert. I first made this cake a few years ago for a mexican-food themed potluck at work and it was a big hit. It's easy and tastes better if you make it a day before and let the cake soak up all the milk goodness.

I put it in the refrigerator last night and when I was laying in bed, I was thinking "Tres leches means three milks but I only put two milk in the milk mixture . . . " I forgot the regular old not-from-a-can milk. I didn't pour all of the wet stuff so I think I'll mix the remainder with the milk I forgot and pour that over the cake when I get home today.

At a birthday party, you have to have ice cream with the cake so I'm making my favorite ice cream recipe - Mexican chocolate. I love all things Mexican chocolate - the bars by Vosges, Mexican chocolate cappuccinos from Zona Rosa on El Molino . . . you name it. My friend Lisa made mexican chocolate brownies this weekend and she promised to save me one - maybe she'll put the recipe up as a guest blogger (hint, hint).

I've read other recipes that use Ibarra or a Mexican chocolate to start with but I go with what I have on hand. This time it was 72% dark chocolate from Trader Joe's. The spiciness of cayenne pepper varies and the jar I have is super hot so I just sprinkle a little bit - maybe start with 1/4 tsp and taste the mixture before putting it in the ice cream maker. It should have a warm aftertaste, not an immediate bite.

I'll update this post with a photo and a review of how it actually tasted after we eat it tonight. Happy birthday, Auntie T!

Tres Leches Cake (Serves 12)

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. sugar (divided)
5 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla (divided)
3/4 c. milk
3/4 c. sweetened condensed milk
3/4 c. evaporated milk
1/3 c. liquer (optional - I used brandy but Frangelico, Chambord, or Amaretto would be good)
1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. Whisk flour and baking soda together and set aside. Cream butter and 1 cup of sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and 1/2 tsp. of vanilla. Beat well. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 1/4 c. at a time, mixing until well blended. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Let the cake cool and pierce it with a fork about 8-10 times. Combine the 3 milks and the liquer (if using) and pour over the top of the cooled cake. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

When you're ready to serve it, whip the whipping cream, 1/2 c. sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla until it's thick and spread it over the cake.

*Because of the milk, make sure you keep the cake refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve chilled.

Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream (4 cups)

2 c. whole milk
2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
5 oz. semi-sweet or dark chocolate (chopped)
1 or 2 tsp. cinnamon

Heat whole milk, cream, and chocolate over medium heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is almost boiling. Meanwhile, mix sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla until pale (I use a hand mixer). Turn heat down. Temper the egg mixture with 4 tablespoons of the milk mixture (stir one tablespoon at a time to warm the egg mixture so you don't end up with curdled or scrambled eggs).

Then slowly pour the egg mixture into the milk mixture, stirring constantly. Without letting it boil, heat the mixture until it's thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (3-4 minutes). Chill completely and follow your ice cream maker's instructions for the rest.


  1. Please put me on your birthday gift meal list.

  2. If you think they were good enough, I'll send you the recipe.

  3. I broke my strict candida diet for one bite of this... so worth it!