Sunday, May 4, 2008

Pastel de Tres Leches--Gluten Free

I did a class for my church on Authentic Mexican cooking, and for that class, I got a recipe from a friend for a Tres Leches cake. I didn't make it then, because the recipe was based on a cake mix, but I figured that it would be a good thing to try with a gluten free cake once I got a good recipe. I hadn't thought much about it until we were at a dinner party at John's advisor's last week. His wife, Mimi, is amazing. And she made a Tres Leches cake, and I was sure that I could do it gluten free. So, I started searching. I didn't use the same recipe as Mimi, because this one was simpler, and I figured I might as well just try to modify the easy one first. It tasted really great. So, here's the basic recipe.

The cake is a dense cake that relies on its shape from the folding in of the meringue. I think that this may not require the xanthan gum, but since I always have it on hand, I put it in just to be sure.
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Featherlight flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350oF. Generously butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Beat 3/4 cup sugar and the egg yolks until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Fold in the milk, vanilla, flour, xanthan gum, baking powder. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, adding the cream of tartar after 20 seconds. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until the whites are glossy and firm, but not dry. Gently fold the whites into the yolk mixture. Pour this batter into the buttered baking dish. Bake the cake until it feels firm and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let the cake cool completely in baking dish. Pierce the cake all over with a fork, taking care to not tear it up.

While the cake is cooling slightly, whisk together the following ingredients.
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Pour the syrup over the cake, spooning the overflow back on top, until it is all absorbed.Place the cake in the refrigerator over night so that it can soak up all three of the delicious milks. I started to peel away some of the skin on top of the cake to see how it was absorbing, so that's why the cake looks weird on the one side.

Then, right before serving the cake, whip up some cream.
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Spread this over the cake and serve immediately. I love any excuse to use strawberries, and so I garnished mine with fresh berries as you can see.


Dean Family said...

I had some of this cake and wow is it delicious, and very additive. Megan has a lot of really great ideas when it comes to cooking!

the lazy knitter said...

Hi! I am a big fun of Tres Leches and this is my first try gluten free.... Your recipe is the most similar to the original recipe that I have from Ecuador. I will let you know how it turns out!



Leticia said...

Hoping to make this cake for a birthday but can't find potato flour to make the Featherlight Flour mixture. I have potato starch, is that the same?

John, Megan and girls said...

Potato flour is more dense and heavy than the potato starch. There is really a small amount that is added to the flour mix though, so you might be just fine leaving it out. Good luck!