This Latin American cake is a moist and simple cake that must be served in the pan. A sponge cake is soaked with a sweet milky mixture and the chilled cake is topped with whipped cream. There are many versions but one rule must stand – there must be at least three types of milk in the recipe to earn its name!
- 115 g unsalted butter
- 1 cup (250 ml) reduced fat (2 %) milk
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
- 2 cups (300 g) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 300 ml (1 tin) sweetened condensed milk
- 355 ml evaporated milk
- ¾ cup (175 ml) whipping cream
- 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 2½ cups (625 ml) whipping cream
- ¼ cup (32 g) icing sugar
- 1½ tbsp instant skim milk powder
- 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
- 1 cup (100 g) sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted (optional)
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.
Makes 1 23-x-33 cm (9-x-13 inch) cake.
Cooling and chilling time: at least 4 hours
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325 °F). Grease a 23-x-33 cm (9-x-13 inch) baking pan and dust the bottom and sides with flour, tapping out any excess flour.
2. For the cake, heat the butter and milk over low heat until the butter has melted. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly.
3. Whip the eggs, sugar and vanilla on high speed using electric beaters or a mixer fitted with the whip attachment until the eggs are doubled in volume, 3 to 4 minutes. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Fold half of the flour mixture into the whipped eggs, then add all of the butter mixture, then fold in the remaining flour mixture. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
4. Bake the cake for about 40 minutes (see Note if baking in a ceramic dish), until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
5. While the cake is baking, prepare the milk mixture. Stir the condensed milk, evaporated milk, whipping cream and vanilla together. After the cake has come out of the oven and cooled for 10 minutes, poke holes in the cake using a bamboo skewer and slowly pour the milk mixture over the entire surface of the cake (the cake will absorb all the moisture and swell up). Cool the cake to room temperature and then chill cake for at least 3 hours.
6. For the topping, whip the cream until it holds a soft peak. Stir in the icing sugar, skim milk powder and vanilla and then spread or pipe the cream over the surface of the cake. Garnish the top of the cake with toasted coconut (if using) and keep the cake chilled until ready to serve. The cake must be stored and sliced directly from the pan.
7. The cake will keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.
• If baking the cake in a ceramic or porcelein dish, you may need to add 10-15 minutes to the bake time, because ceramic takes longer to heat up than metal or glass.