Friday, September 27, 2013

Daring to do it: Tres Leches Cake

***Somehow, partway throgh writing this post, I lost the ability to add pictures.  I am going to try to fix this!!***

Is it just me or did this month go by really quickly?  With so much going on I kind of lost track, and didn't realize it was Daring Bakers' reveal day already!  Luckily I remembered with enough time for this month's challenge.

Inma of la Galletika was our Sept. 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and WOW did she bring us something decadent and delicious! Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake, creamy yet airy, super moist but not soggy.. just plain delish!

Tres Leches?  Really?  I mean, I have heard of this before, and it always sounded amazing, tempting and decadent, but in my house?  With me being lactose intolerant and Little Girl's milk allergy?  I knew there had to be a way to make this, I just wasn't sure how it would turn out.  Inma was great, and had links to several delicious looking vegan options in her challenge.  I decided to use her recipe for the sponge and play with the milks for the soaking liquid, using a few of the suggested recipes as guides.
In conventional Tres Leches cake, the three milks are sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream.  (I know, this is not a cake for the light, low fat crowd!)  None of those would work for me.  But I still wanted three milks.  So I used home-made sweetened condensed coconut milk, vanilla soy milk and chocolate soy milk.  (Ok, so I am sort of cheating by calling it three milks, as two are soy, but...) 
I could write a separate post about making the condensed coconut milk.  It is not hard, but it takes monitoring.  Which is challenging with active kiddos running around.  And friends arriving for a playdate.  So, of course, a bit of a mess was made.
Oops.  Despite the mess, and the loss of a bunch of the coconut milk, I did end up with about 2/3 cup of thick, sweet, non-dairy goodness to use.

Once the sponge cake was made and cooled, and the three milks were combined together it is time to make tres leches magic.  The drenched in the milks and allowed to soak.  Most recipes indicate that this should be a LONG (read, 24 hour) soak.  I didn't have that kind of time.  So it was a five hour soak.

The assembled cake is supposed to be "frosted" with freshly whipped cream.  I made a common vegan alternative - whipped coconut milk.  Of course, I did add cocoa powder to up the chocolate.  And I added chocolate chips in assembly. Because, hey - chocolate chips!

The final cake was kind of magical:
I was worried, especially with the shortened soak time, that the cake would be soggy.  Instead it was creamy, light and smooth.  I was amazed.
The coconut flavor was a bit strong for my girls, but Hubby and I enjoyed it a lot.  I am already thinking of playing with the recipe and making a coconut free version for next weekend...  I would call that a success!

Thank you, Inma, for a wonderful challenge.  One day maybe I will try the "real" tres leches cake to see how this version stacks up, but for now I will be happy to drool over the amazing work of my fellow Daring Bakers!


  1. Mmm, your chocolate version looks great! Now I want to try making condensed coconut milk...

  2. Wow - creative way to adapt this. I am impressed!