Coconut Three Milks Cake – Daring Bakers Challenge September 2013

September 27th, 2013

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!

Coconut is one of the things I have been craving recently, so when given the choice between a classic vanilla and fruit three milks cake and a coconut three milks cake, I chose the latter. All the components were easy to make and worked very well together making a very lovely cream filled cake.

When the cake came out of the oven and I had a look at the size of the cake compared to the amount of liquid, I was a little apprehensive (due to a recent past experience in which the cake was just too soggy – something I really dislike in cake). I made myself put about half the soaking liquid onto the cake, but some of it just sat on top and didn’t soak in. I decided at that point I would err on the side of caution and not add any more. Everyone who tried it agreed that no more liquid should have been added, as it would have been far too soggy. I think even a quarter of the soaking mix would have been sufficient.

The cake was a little rich for Nick, as he is not mad about lots of whipped cream, but my friends at work managed to eat it all up the next day :)

Coconut Three Milks Cake

Recipe Source: This recipe slightly adapted from an interview given by one of Mexico’s best Pastry Chefs; Paulina Abascal to the magazine Revista Secretos de la Pastelería Caserais it produces a super moist yet light Tres Leches.

Servings: 12
A variation – Three milk chocolate roll with toasted coconut.

Ingredients for sponge cake
5 large eggs (separated)
½ cup (120 ml) (4 oz) (125 gm) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) (5 oz) (140gm) all-purpose (plain) flour (sifted)
¼ cup (60 ml) water
3 tablespoons (45 ml) (¾ oz) (25 gm) unsweetened cocoa powder

For the coconut syrup (I ended up using only half this amount, so you could halve this before cooking if you wanted)
1 can (14 oz) (400 gm) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 oz) (340 gm) coconut milk
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream (about 35% fat)

Topping and filling
2 cups (500 ml) of whipping cream (about 30% fat)
½ cup (120 ml) (4 oz) (125 gm) sugar (I used half this amount and it was sweet enough)
1 cup (240 ml) (3½ oz) (100 gm) shredded coconut

Directions For the Sponge Cake:

Preheat oven to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Prepare a square 9”x9” (23cmx23 cm) pan or 9” (23 cm) round cake pan
Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
Beat the egg whites on medium speed, 3 – 5 minutes.
When soft peaks form slowly add the sugar in small batches.
Whip until stiff peaks form about 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium bowl beat egg yolks at medium-high speed for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the egg yolks become pale colored, creamy and puffy. Stir in vanilla.

Pour the egg yolks over the egg whites, gently fold until just combined trying not to lose any volume from the mixture.
Fold in the flour little by little in the form of rain. Mix until just combined (over-beating will result in a denser, flatter cake).
After folding in the flour you have to fold in the cocoa powder dissolved in the ¼ cup of water (it should be a thick paste)
Pour the batter into the prepared 9”x9” (23cmx23 cm) square cake pan or 9” (23 cm) round cake pan.

Bake in the preheated moderate oven for 25 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean


Let it cool
Once cool, split the cake in half, flip the top of the cake and place it on a base. Poke using a fork holes all over the cake to better absorb the three milk soaking liquid.

Directions for the coconut syrup

In a saucepan add the sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk and heavy cream, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Remove it and let it cool.

Cut the cake in half and brush the syrup on both sides until totally absorbed.

Directions for the decoration
1. In a skillet, over medium heat, toast the coconut
2. Cover the cake with whipping cream and spread the coconut on the top. Enjoy.

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
It is better when the cake has had time to mellow in the refrigerator at least one hour but best if refrigerated overnight. Storage will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days if well-covered.

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