Today’s installment in the “All Around Latin America” series comes from a mother/daughter blog that I love! Las Morena’s (both have the same first name) pen the “Peru Delights” where they share and inspire to become familiar with Peruvian cuisine. I’ve learned so much about their particular culture and food from reading their stories. Mother lives in the DC area, daughter lives in NY, so it’s incredibly fun to see the two work together to create lovely food. This is their first time participating in this delicious series so I’d love for you to welcome them to Flanboyant Eats! And, welcome, Peru Delights readers! B-
By Morena Cuadra
What do you think we, as a Hispanic community, have in common? Is it the genetic information that runs through our blood and makes us what we are, or is it something else? Is it the language, maybe? In Peru we say that our country is a melting pot of races and traditions, and this description fits perfectly to all of us, Latin American people. The differences and variety between all of us are enormous, but the amount of interceptions is even bigger, thank God!
One of our most rooted traditions is food, of course! Very few people can beat us in our passion for eating good food…and for eating A LOT of it. So to celebrate this Hispanic Heritage Month, I thought it would be a great idea to share one of those immortal preparations that transcend frontiers in our culture, and through time, have become a staple in the kitchens of many different countries. And because dessert is always the first thing on my mind, the image that immediately popped into my head was the uber famous Tres Leches that we so love. We’re sure you know that this exquisite cake is baked in almost every Latin American country, and we all feel it’s our own. But at the end of the day, who cares where it’s really from? The fact is that it’s delicious and easy to make, so let’s all just share it and celebrate our similarities!
My grandmother used to bake it for us when we were very young, and every afternoon at three o´clock, we sat to have coffee with her, with a slice –or several slices- of Tres Leches, and many other goodies on the side. Many years later, as a newly wed, the same scene repeated itself – this time not in Central America, but in Madrid- where we had tea with my husband’s Spanish aunt, tía Gela, at five o´clock, accompanied by as many pastries and cookies as was possible to imagine. The Tres Leches wasn’t there, but still this was proof enough that all Hispanics share the unbelievable sweet tooth!
Today I want to give you my grandmother´s recipe for Tres Leches, a delicious and extremely moist cake that I have continued baking for my kids, and now they make it for their friends as often as possible too. I added mango purée to give it a tropical twist, even though this delicious fruit is native to India. You can serve every portion on its own, dusted with powdered sugar, or crowned with some dulce de leche whipped cream and a couple caramel curls. To finish, thinly cut some mango slices, y listo!
(images courtesy of Peru Delights)
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MANGO TRES LECHES
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup milk (at room temperature)
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup dulce de leche
- 1 can mango in syrup
- Caramel curls
- Mint leaves
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Sift the flour together with the baking powder.
Beat eggs at high speed for about 8 minutes, until they triple their volume. Gradually add the sugar.
Turn off the mixer and using a spatula fold the flour in three parts, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with flour.
Transfer to a square 8 x 8 x 2 inch, or rectangular glass baking pan, and bake for 30 minutes. To make sure the cake is ready, the tip of a knife inserted in the center should come out clean; otherwise bake it for 5 more minutes.
While the cake is in the oven open the can of mango, separate two slices, and process the remaining in a blender with its syrup. Combine in a bowl with the condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream and vanilla in a bowl, and place in the fridge.
Turn off the oven and take out the cake. Prick it everywhere with a toothpick. Do this as soon as it comes out of the oven so it is still hot. Pour the cold milks over the cake immediately, making sure you do this evenly and cover every part of the cake, (the cake will absorb the milks like a sponge).
Let it cool, and then refrigerate to serve it cold. It keeps well in the refrigerator for several days.
To decorate, whip the cup of heavy cream, adding dulce de leche. Thinly slice the reserved mango.
Serve each portion of Tres Leches Cake with a dollop of dulce de leche whipped cream, and garnish with mango slices and some caramel curls and mint leaves.