Monthly Archives: July 2011

Tres Leches Cake with Mango

Have you ever tried typing  ‘how to’ into the Google search bar and see what suggestions come up? Here are a few…

1) How to go
2) How to grow taller
3) How to tie a tie

I do this fairly frequently. It keeps me occupied. If you were wondering, you can grow taller naturally…there’s a whole guide written for this sole purpose. Do you think it still works when I’m 22? I’d love to look better in capri pants and still have my knees working for me when I’m 55. I heard high heels are pretty damaging. I should Google that.

Another way I keep myself plenty busy is to bake something that requires me to invest a fair bit of time and thinking. Bar cookies with many layers work, so do layer cakes. Anything that requires assembling like trifle or Tiramisu and consists of a thousand components usually help too. But I always vote layer cakes, because they’re actually my favourite dessert. And since we’d all love to have a little extra cash to get takeout for dinner (who wants to cook after making all that mess baking?), I’m voting Tres Leches cake this time around. Basically I’ve realised that anything that doesn’t require a load of butter and chocolate tend to be a whole lot friendlier on my pocket.

Since I’m writing, I might as well let you in on the DETAILS OF MY FIRST TIME…eating Tres Leches. It was in New York and it was good. It isn’t a layer cake like this one, but more a one level, no mess type of thing. Whipped topping might have been substituted for whipped cream but I ain’t no food snob y’all and it tasted mighty fine. And since then I’ve been itching to bake one of my own. TA-DAH!

So if there’s anyone who’s even later than me on trying the wonder that is Tres Leches, let me break it down for you. It’s essentially an airy sponge cake make downright decadent with a drenching of a thick, rich milk sauce made from…3 types of milk! And to even out the richness, a healthy slather of whipped cream is slapped on and I even threw in some fresh mango for colour and good flavour.It’s soft, but not mushy. Sweet but still light. Really, it’s an oldie but a goodie!

THE RECIPE…makes a large amount of milk sauce. I used half and my sponges were bathing in a sufficient amount of liquid to keep it moist without falling apart. And don’t be put off by the amount of milk and sugar you think you’re putting into the thing…it’s not going to be too sweet.

LASTLY, I’m late for this month’s Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten Free event hosted over at The Whole Gang but if I had to pick a dessert to suit this month’s theme of grand finale desserts, I think I’d go with this Tres Leches. Maybe in chocolate form…or with more rum. Whatever it is, when it’s the end, I better have a little somethingsomething to mark the occasion.

Mango Tres Leches

Sponge (adapted from My Sweet Mexico by Fany Gerson)
1 cup GF Flour blend
3/4 cup caster sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
4 eggs, seperated, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp water, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1) Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

2) Mix the flour, 6 tbsp of the sugar, salt and baking powder together in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, oil, water and vanilla together until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into the flour mix and stir vigorously to combine. Mixture will be thick.

4) In a clean bowl of a stand mixer, add in the egg whites and whisk until frothy. Mix the remaining sugar with the cream of tartar and slowly add it into the frothy egg whites while the motor is running. Whisk on high until stiff, but not dry peaks form.

5) Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until almost completely combined. Add in remaining egg whites and fold gently but quickly until no more streaks of white remain. Tip into the prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

6) Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a knife and turning it out into the rack. Remove parchment paper and re-invert onto wire rack (it’s easier if you have 2 racks handy). After cake has cooled completely, slice into half horizontally. Have two 8-inch pans ready (or really, just a pan big enough to hold the cake layers whilst they soak). Line a large piece of plastic wrap over each of the tins so it covers most of the bottom and hangs over the sides. Place 1 half into each tin. Prepare the Tras Leches mixture below.

Tres Leches

1 cup heavy cream
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp dark rum (optional)

1) In a medium saucepan, mix the heavy cream, evaporated milk, vanilla and salt. Bring to a bowl and immediately remove from heat.

2) Stir in the condensed milk and rum, mixing well to ensure it is completely incorporated. Pour the warm milk mixture over the prepared sponges and leave it to soak for 3 hours in the fridge and 30 minutes in the freezer (this makes it easier to assemble).

Filling and Topping

1.5 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large mango, half chopped into 1-inch pieces and half roughly chopped (for the top)

1) In a bowl of a standmixer, whisk the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add in the icing sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until firm peaks form.

TO ASSEMBLE

1) Remove one half of the sponge onto a cake base or serving plate. Fill with 1/3 of the whipped cream and 1-inch mango pieces.

2) Top with second layer and cover the entire cake with the remaining cream. Top with mango chunks. Milk mixture from cake will continue to seep out but it’s normal! :) Lasts for about 3 days.

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Carrot Cupcakes with Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting

Sorry, I’ve been a bad friend haven’t I. Abandoning you without any cake for such a long while. Things have been happening; I finally got my act together and cleared out the pig-sty of a room I live in and re-painted it a fresh white. I also managed to get myself an eye infection. It’s ugly; I forgot the name of the problem. It’s just…a big swollen eye, blocking half my vision. And I tear involuntarily. It’s bad. I don’t even bother dressing up – I want to blend in with the crowd so no one will notice me… I am invisible.

I did make it out of the house for Harry Potter though! Have you seen it? You should even if you’re not a huge fan (which I probably won’t be able to fathom why). It’s such a milestone!  Make sure you have popcorn! If you’re bringing your own, try this recipe out!

I had some trouble dealing with the fact that this is the last Harry Potter movie and was highly appreciative to have some some Carrot Cupcakes. But I was even happier to have them around after watching an episode of DC Cupcakes and then really, really having issues dealing with not being in the States anymore. I obviously have a hard time letting go of… things. I am a hoarder which I have also discovered through the amount of things I have collected in my room whilst clearing it out. Is this a sign that I’m turning into one of those women? I’m preparing for life with a mountain stack high of Tupperware.

Carrot Cupcakes (adapted from Miette Bakery Cookbook, which is gorgeous and scalloped-edged)

1 cup GF Flour blend (I would add 2 tbsp more if you’re in a humid country)
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 cup peeled and finely grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins

1) Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 9 cupcake holes with paper liners.

2) Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon together in a bowl.

3) In a stand mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar together until lighter in colour. Add in the oil and whisk until emulsified.

4)  Add in the flour mix, and mix until almost completely combined. Add in the carrots and raisins. Mix well and divide evenly into prepared tins.

5) Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely, remove from baking tin and frost.

Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting

250g cream cheese, softened
100g butter, softened
3-4 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp limoncello liquor
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1) Beat the cream cheese, butter, 3 cups of icing sugar, limoncello, lemon zest and juice together. If icing if not thick enough, add in more icing sugar and beat until you reach your desired consistency.

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Farewell NYC

I embarked on my New York adventure with no real plan. I thought I felt like doing it, so I did. And I’m glad I didn’t regret a single minute of my decision. Except maybe when the credit card bill arrives, but that’s a problem for reality. Who needs reality when I have shiny new shoes and baking trays.

But I’ve been talking about me, New York and other people for 2 months and I think my brain is yorked out so in the spirit of thingsd, let’s make a list of my highlights!

Biggest OMG! Moment:
Seeing Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block perform

Favourite Gluten-free Cupcake:
Tully’s

Favourite Meal:
It’s a toss up between Diner in Williamsburg and brunch at The Essex

Favourite non-GF Dessert:
Peanut butter cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory (because it was raving madly awesome) and LuLu’s snowball

Favourite Store:
Madewell

Best Purchase:
My $20 rainboots when my shoes broke during a storm or my GHD hair straightener

Most Inspiring Food:
Arepas & grilled corn with cotija cheese

Favourite Tourist Site:
American Museum of Natural History & Alexander Wang exhibit at The Met

Most Exciting Meal:
Serendipity; the sheer size and madness of the desserts

Favourite Grocery Store:
Trader Joe’s

Best Night Out:
Either the body-to-body dancing at Taj II or the non-stop partying at Hiro

Best Thing about being a Tourist:
Cute stranger boys making sure you’re at the right subway stop so you don’t get lost

Best Breakfast:
HOT CHOCOLATE at Starbucks on a cold, wet day

NYC should seriously…
Stop meddling with their subway lines during weekends because it’s confusing!

NYC should never…
change, I like you the way you are!

Thing I’ll miss most…
Not working…and Union Square, East Village, the AMAZING friends I’ve made and the plethora of vintage treasures

Worst Meal:
Probably the shitty food at Coney Island and the disappointing saltwater taffy

I can’t wait to tell everyone back home about…
AREPAS! These Venezuelan street food makes me so happy and is naturally GF! And Amy’s Bread’s amazing yellow cake.

Favourite Vegan Food:
Vanilla milkshake at Blossom

The Highest High:
Meeting so so so many friends, Melinda, Andy, Mike, Jenny, Jonathan, Ashley, Vivian, Sandeep, Tiffani, and so many other amazing folks, thanks for making me not want to go home. :)

Photos!

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