The origins of the traditional tres leches (three milks) cake are in debate, with natives of Mexico, Cuba and parts of Central and South America, all claiming ownership. While chocolate isn’t part of the traditional recipe, its inclusion adds extra depth of flavour and is complemented by the sweet acidity of the blackberries.
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 4 eggs, separated, plus 2 egg whites, extra
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 g (1⅔ cup) plain flour
- 65 g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 185 ml (¾ cup) milk
- 310 ml (1¼ cup) sweetened condensed milk
- 200 ml evaporated milk
- 200 ml thickened cream
- Blackberries, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time overnight
Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease a 20 cm x 27 cm rectangular cake pan. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar, 4 egg yolks and vanilla together until thick and pale. Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder together in a separate bowl. Set aside.
Fold milk and flour mixture into egg yolk mixture. Place 6 egg whites in an electric mixer and whisk to stiff peaks. Working in 3 batches, fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture until combined.
Pour mixture into prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven and, using a skewer, poke holes all over the surface of the cake. Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk and thickened cream in a jug. Reserve 60ml mixture and set aside, to serve. Working in 3 batches, pour milk mixture over cake, waiting for each batch to be absorbed before adding more. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow flavours to absorb. Slice into squares, scatter with blackberries and drizzle over remaining milk mixture, to serve.
Photography Ben Dearnley
As seen in Feast magazine, May 2014, Issue 31.