As mentioned in my previous blog post I’ve got two recipes published in the latest Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook “A Year of Cake”. Along with my Welsh Honey and Camomile Bara Brith I also had my Coconut and Mojito Tres Leches Cake featured in the May chapter of the book.
I am a regular member of the Pudsey and West Leeds branch of the CCC. Each event along with other cake club branches has really great themes which inspires you to get your baking thinking caps on. Last year back in June 2014 Pudsey cake club had an event with an Around The World Theme. I’m a huge Mojito cocktail fan (though I’m trying to steer clear due to going to Weightwatchers at the moment) and also love the way it works well with coconut and cream. So this is where the inspiration for my Tres Leches cake came from. It was one of those cakes I’d tried baking before and although hugely calorific, it was one I enjoyed tasting the most. So I tried baking my own version of a tres leches cake and hoped it would go down well at cake club.
I originally baked my cake as a triple layer cake but the recipe testers felt it worked better as a two layer one. I’ve since baked it with 2 layers and I’m happy to agree with them. It holds up better, from looking at my original picture it looks like it could topple over at any time!
The recipe introduction says: “Cocktail and Mocktail themed events are very popular with Cake Club members who shake and stir all manner of ingredients to turn their favourite tipple into a cake.” (well Mojito is one of my favourites apart from gin!) “Sam has created a South American-inspired tres leches cake- sponge soaked in three milks: condensed milk, evaporated milk and double cream- which is infused with the punchy flavours of the traditional Cuban rum cocktail, the mojito. It’s perfect for sharing on World Cocktail Day which celebrates the day in 1806 when the word “cocktail” was first put into print, thereby officially recognising the alchemy of mixing spirits”.
The Tres Leches cake is ideally best to be made and soaked the night before you need to bake it as you need to give time for the flavours to develop in the cake.
To bake the cake itself you need to first sift plain flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. In another bowl you need to beat softened butter and sugar together until it gets light and fluffy. Then one by one you add in eggs and a little bit of the flour mixture to stop any curdling. When the remaining flour is added in, you then add in some natural coconut extract and some lime zest. The natural coconut extract I swear by is one that comes from a range in Lakeland Ltd. It comes in a small bottle and a few drops transform the flavours of your bakes.
Once all the mixture is combined well, it is divided into two loose bottomed sandwich tins and then baked in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.
Don’t be alarmed when soaking a tres leches cake. It looks like you have loads of soaking syrup and you do wonder how all of that will go into a cake and not fall to pieces in a big soggy mess. I felt like that the very first time I baked one and I panicked. But I was reassured not to worry and it was fine. I took my time carefully with it, spooning the glaze carefully onto the cakes, letting it do the soaking then adding more.
Then, leave your cake overnight in the fridge to let the flavours develop. The next morning or whenever you need to assemble it, make up the topping and filling. This is made with double cream and icing sugar whipped up together. Sometimes I choose to decorate the sides of the cake with the topping as well, depends on what I feel like doing at the time!
Since first creating the recipe I have discovered Sugar and Crumbs Natural flavoured icing sugars and I am a huge fan of their products. I’m always thinking of good excuses to use them. I used some of their Key Lime flavoured icing sugar in the topping instead of plain icing sugar to give it an extra kick. I think it worked extremely well and will be doing that again when I bake the cake in the future.
I’m sorry that I can’t give you the whole recipe here but I am not allowed to by the publishers of the book.