Actually, I baked 2 cakes for T.'s birthday because I was convinced this was a child-friendly recipe. Made with 3 different milks that you leave to soak into the cake overnight, this dessert is definitely a crowd-pleaser. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of the final product, and until you’ve got the whipped cream and toasted coconut on top, it’s not the most photogenic thing.
Recipe: Tres leches cake
Adapted from Chowhound
6 large eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup evaporated milk (not nonfat)
1/2 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk (shake well)
1 tablespoon dark rum, such as Myers’s (or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract)
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut (optional)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1. Heat oven to 325°F. Butter a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish. Separate eggs, and place yolks in a large mixing bowl. Reserve whites in a separate mixing bowl.
2. Add sugar to yolks, and beat on high speed with an electric mixer until pale yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Clean beaters, and whip egg whites to medium peaks (not too stiff), about 1 1/2 minutes.
3. Using a rubber spatula, stir about 1/3 of the egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it. Then gently fold in remaining whites.
4. Whisk flour with a dry whisk to aerate and break up any lumps, then sprinkle it over egg mixture. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold flour into egg mixture, just until there are no more white flour streaks. Don’t overmix.
5. Pour batter into the buttered baking dish, and bake until cake is puffed and golden and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan, about 20 to 25 minutes.
6. Remove cake from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack. With a toothpick, poke holes all over the cake. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
7. In a medium bowl, whisk together three milks and rum (or vanilla extract), and pour mixture evenly over cake. Continue cooling cake, about 45 minutes more, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
8. For toasted coconut, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add coconut and spread it in an even layer. Cook, stirring often, until coconut is fragrant, lightly toasted and browned. If coconut begins to burn, reduce heat. Remove from the pan immediately.
9. To serve the cake, whip heavy cream and powdered sugar to medium peaks. (If you like, flavor it with a teaspoon of dark rum or vanilla extract.) Top each cake slice with a mound of whipped cream, and garnish with toasted coconut, if desired.