Friday, September 19, 2014

South of the Border With Corning Ware - Tres Leches Cake

My youngest brother's Birthday is on Sunday and this is the cake he has been requesting every year for the last 3 years....

I will admit, that I have never baked a Tres Leches cake in Corning Ware before, but I was looking for a way to streamline the process a little and reduce the amount of dishes that were required.  The only real difference, is that the cake took about 5 minutes longer to bake.  Other than that, it worked out perfectly.  I will be doing it this way from now on!

One thing I cannot stress enough is that this cake should always be assembled on a plate with a rim.  The Stabilized Whipped Cream (whipped cream with gelatin) is capable of absorbing some of the moisture from the milk soaked cake, but may not be able to contain it all.  If the cake becomes too warm it is possible that the milks it has been soaked in will begin to weep out from underneath the Whipped Cream.   Better to play it safe than have a mess all over your table.

Please note, that I did not attempt this cake in the 8 inch Round Cake dish (P-321).  There was a very good reason for this.   This particular Tres Leches Cake does not respond well to the radial cutting that is required for slicing a round cake and when if comes to batter volume, an 8 inch square is equivalent to a 9 inch round, not an 8 inch round, so technically, the P-321 Round pdish is too small.    Besides, it's Hip to Be Square. (and the square pans are significantly easier to find)

Tres Leches Cake

For the Cake....
Parchment, Butter & Flour, for cake pans
7 large Eggs, separated
2 cups AP Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract 
3/4 cup Whole Milk

For the "Milks".... 
14 oz net wt (1 can) Sweetened Condensed Milk
12 oz (1 can) Evaporated Milk
1 cup Heavy Cream

For the "Frosting".....
3 cups Heavy Cream
2 TB Confectioners' Sugar
2 tsp Gelatin (1 pkg or Knox Gelatin)
2 TB Water

2 Corning Ware Square 8 inch Cake Pans (P-322)
1 French White 4 oz Ramekin or Centura Custard cup
1 Corning Ware Petite pan (P-41 or P-43)
1 Pyrex 4 cup Measuring Pitcher
optional - Pyrex Mixing Bowls

Cut 2 pieces or parchment to fit in the bottoms of the P-322 square 8 inch cake dishes. (they do not need to cover the entire bottom of the pan.)

Butter the Parchment pieces and place them in the bottom of the dishes, butter side down...  

Then butter (or oil) the entire inside of the cake dishes along with the parchment, and sprinkle lightly with flour, then set aside.

In a small bowl, combine Flour, Baking Powder, and Salt with a whisk, then set that aside as well. 

Place Sugar, Vanilla Extract and Egg Yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. 

Whisk on medium speed until pale and fluffy. 

Turn the mixer low and slowly add 1/4 cup of the Milk. 

Follow this with half of the Flour mixture. 

Another 1/4 cup of the Milk, then the remaining Flour mixture. 

Finally, add the remaining Milk, turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, place Egg Whites in a bowl and beat them until they hold firm peaks. 

Add 1/3 of the beaten Egg whites to the batter and stir to lighten it.

Fold the lightened batter into the remaining Egg Whites. 

Divide the resulting batter between the 2 cake dishes (P-322). 

Bake for 35 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Mixing the Milks and Soaking the Cake.....
While the cakes are baking, whisk 1 cup Heavy Cream with the Sweetened Condensed Milk and the Evaporated Milk, together in a Pyrex 4 cup pitcher (this will make it easier to pour over the cakes) 

When the cakes are done baking, remove them from the oven and immediately poke holes all over the surface of the hot cakes with a fork.

Begin pouring the milk mixture over the cakes, VERY SLOWLY, to allow it to be absorbed.  (this must be done while the cakes are still hot from the oven, or they will not absorb all the liquid) 

Once the "milks" have been absorbed (for the most part), cover the cakes with plastic wrap and move them to the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but preferably over night.

Make the Stabilized Whipped Cream....  (This is important, if the cake begins to "weep" milk, the gelatin in the whipped cream will help absorb it)

Bloom the gelatin in a small French White 4 oz Ramekin or Centura Custard cup for 5 minutes.

Place water in a P-41 or P-43 Petite pan and set over medium flame with the French White Ramekin or Centura Custard cup sitting in the water to warm the gelatin until it dissolves, then remove the Petite Pan (P-41 or P-43) from the flame but leave the Custard Cup/French White Ramekin sitting in the warm water to keep the gelatin from setting. 

In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of Heavy Cream and confectioners' sugar.

Beat the Cream (in an ice bath) until it holds firm peaks. 

Set any electric mixer aside and opt for a hand whisk for this next part.......

Whisk in the warm gelatin.  (Whisk quickly and thoroughly to be sure the gelatin is fully dispersed or you will end up with lumps)

Remove the soaked cakes from the refrigerator.

Select a rimmed dish for assembly. (I know it's not Corning Ware, but I they didn't make a dish that would work for this)

Place the first layer down and cover with 1/2 -3/4 cup of the whipped cream.

Lay down the second layer and frost with the most of the remaining whipped cream.  (reserve about 3/4 cup for piping decorations)

Place any reserved whipped cream in a pastry bag and pipe some simple decorations. (You can also sprinkle with Coconut if you like - Do not decorate with Pineapple until right before serving, the bromelain in the pineapple will break down the gelatin and you will have a soupy top)

Now cover the cake and chill for at least 4 hours....  Keep chilled until ready to serve.....   ('40' candles are completely optional)


Where is your Corning Ware??


  1. Wish you were my big brother!

  2. Wow, that looks scrumptious! I mostly lurk, but I want you to know how much your blog inspires me to put my Corningware to use -- many thanks for the interesting historical tidbits, recipes and photos, I really enjoy them all :-)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.