Nicaraguan Tres Leches Cake

"Because the cream in Nicaragua is thicker and slightly more acidic than the ultra-pasteurized heavy cream sold in this country, to make the cake more authentic use 1 cup of sour cream and 1 cup of heavy cream for the pint of cream specified in the recipe. Commercial marshmallow cream can be used instead of the meringue. Also, instead of unmolding the cake you can bake it in a glass pan and leave it in there.Pierce it and pour the filling over it right in the pan and refrigerate. When you're ready to serve it, put on the meringue. You will find it is easier to fill, store and the glass pan keeps the cake and filling ( which still resembles a heavy milk) very cold. Because the cake is very rich, it can serve 20."
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Ready In:
4hrs 20mins




  • FOR CAKE: Beat egg whites until stiff; set aside. Beat the sugar and egg yolks until light, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and milk, then beat in flour and finally the baking powder. Fold egg whites into the batter and pour into a generously greased 9-by 13-inch pan. Bake 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees, or until cake will spring back in center when touched. Let cool. (It's OK if cake falls somewhat at this point.).
  • FOR FILLING: Beat the three egg yolks for 1 minute at high speed with an electric mixer. Add the three kinds of milk - evaporated, condensed and cream - and the vanilla and liqueur, and beat thoroughly. When the cake has cooled, unmold it onto a dish. Pierce the cake as thoroughly as possible with a fork. Slowly pour the filling mixture onto the cake, allowing it to soak in without running over the sides.
  • FOR THE MERINGUE: Mix 1/2 cup water, corn syrup and sugar in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook until mixture reaches 227 degrees on a thermometer, or will spin a thread when drizzled from a spoon ( about 30 minutes). Beat egg whites until very stiff. Slowly beat syrup into egg whites, whisking constantly while pouring syrup in a steady stream. Allow to cool slightly, then spread on top and sides of cake. Refrigerate cake at least two hours; it should be.
  • served very cold.

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I didn't start cooking until my early 20's, even though I come from a family of accomplished and admired home cooks. While I grew up watching my Italian grandmother in the kitchen, I remained uninterested in trying anything on my own. As a young lady, I was known for being particularly ignorant in the kitchen, with no idea how to even make a hot dog! All this changed, however, when I got engaged. I realized it was time to let my inherent talents out of the bag. At the time, the New York Times had a weekly column called The 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey. Each week, I would follow these recipes diligently, and taught myself to cook that way. From there, I began to read cookbooks and consult with relatives on family recipes. At my ripe old age now, I feel I know enough to put together a very pleasing meal and have become accomplished in my own right. Having an Irish father and an Italian mother, I'm glad I inherited the cooking gene (and the drinking one too!). One thing I have learned is that simpler is always better! I always believe cooking fills a need to nurture and show love. After being widowed fairly young and living alone with my dog and cats, I stopped cooking for awhile, since I really had no one to cook for. I made care packages for my grown son occasionally, and like to cook weekly for my boyfriend, so I feel like I am truly back in the saddle!!
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