Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cuatro Leches Cake

I like throwing parties, its as simple as that.  I like the planning: the small details,  timing everything out, deciding on the food and drinks, picking out and setting up any decorations, even the stress of getting everything done before the first guest arrives.  Parties, gatherings, celebrations, etcs. are my thing!  So, since I missed one of my BFF's actual birthday I wanted to throw her party. (Again, Happy Birthday Meghan!  Two birthday cakes in one year.) 

I just happen to have this huge mint plant randomly growing in my backyard, so that helped me decide the drink for the night...Mojitos.  This got me to thinking, what goes well with mojitos, what do I want to be indulging in while I am drinking my ice cold delicious cocktail?  Empanadas! And Cuban chicken, chips, salsa and guacamole, lets have a salad for some green and last but not least a birthday cake for the occasion, tres leches cake with fruit.  (Which became cuatro leches cake while I was making it.)

*Warning this cake is rich, creamy and pretty darn delicious.  You will only really need a small piece.  So, make the cake, invite some friends over to share it with, and maybe if you feel like it make a pitcher of mojitos.

Cuatro Leches Cake:

Batter in the pan waiting for the oven.

Cake cooling, waiting to be covered with the delicious creamy, milky glaze.

So, we dove in and I didn't get a picture of the cake before half of it was gone. 

The Cake Batter: (adapted from Alton Brown's tres leche cake)
1/4 cup or 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for pan
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup skim milk, room temperature

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray with nonstick cooking spray and flour a 8 x 8 inch nonstick pan.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Add in the eggs, one at a time until well incorporated.  Whisk in vanilla extract and set aside.

3.  In another mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

4.  Add the flour mixture and milk to the sugar-butter mixture, alternating between flour and milk, mixing between the addition of each.  Begin and end with flour.  Batter will seem thick.

5.  Pour batter into an 8 x 8" pan and smooth out to make even.  Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean, checking after 30 minutes.  The middle of the cake should be somewhat firm. 

6.  Remove from oven and let cool on a baking rack.  After 30 minutes, using a fork or skewer poke holes all over top of cake.  Prepare the glaze.

For the glaze:
1/2 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1/2 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup half-and-half

1.  Mix all three ingredients together in a large measuring cup, or any bowl with a spout.

2.  Once cake has completely cooled, pour glaze over the top of the cake.

3.  Let cake refrigerate for 8 hours or over night.

For the topping:
1 cup heavy cream, cold
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, mix together all three ingredients.  Start the mixer on a lower speed and gradually bring up to a high speed.  Mix until soft peaks form. 

2.  Right before serving, spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake.

3.  Serve with an assortment of mixed fruit on the side.  I used diced peaches, strawberries and blueberries.  Enjoy!

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