Tres Leches Cake

Soaked Vanilla Sponge, White Chocolate & Almonds

Ingredients

White Chocolate Rosettes:
1 cup heavy cream (divided) [240 mL]
3/4 cup (4.5 oz) white chocolate chips [127.4 g]

Vanilla Sponge Cake:
Dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cups cake flour [150 g]
2 tsp baking powder [8 g]
1/3 cup granulated sugar [66.7 g]
1/2 tsp salt [2.8 g]

Wet ingredients:
5 egg yolks [100 g]
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil [95 mL]
2/3 cup water [160 mL]
1 tsp vanilla extract [5 mL]
1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest [1 g]

Meringue:
5 egg whites [150 g]
1/2 tsp cream of tartar [1.7 g]
1/3 cup granulated sugar [66.7 g]

Tres Leches Syrup:
1 cup (about 2/3 of a 12 fluid oz can) evaporated milk [236 mL]
1/2 cup (about 1/2 of a 14 oz can) sweetened condensed milk [118 mL]
1/4 cup heavy cream [59 mL]

Whipped Cream Filling and Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese [226.4 g]
1/4 cup granulated sugar [50 g]
2 tsp vanilla extract [10 mL]
2 tbsp dark rum (optional) [30 mL]
3 cups heavy cream [720 mL]

White Chocolate Glaze:
1/3 cup (2 oz) white chocolate chips [56.6 g]
2 tbsp coconut oil (sub: butter) [30 mL]

Sides and Topping:
Sliced Almonds

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Instructions



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White Chocolate Cream (for Rosettes):

The day before you make cake, make white chocolate cream. In a microwave-safe bowl, add 1/2 cup heavy cream and microwave for 1 minute, till the heavy cream is steaming. Add in 3/4 cup white chocolate chips into the hot heavy cream, let it stand for 1 minute, then mix until the white chocolate is completely melted and there are no lumps.

Let this cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate overnight.

Vanilla Sponge Cake:

Separate 5 eggs into yolks and whites, and let them come to room temperature (about 30 min). Then preheat the oven to 340 F (170 C).

Line two 9" round cake pans with parchment paper. Do not grease the parchment paper or the sides of the pans. If you have cake strips, soak them in water and place them around each pan.

In a large bowl, sift together 1 1/4 cup of cake flour, 2 tsp of baking powder, 1/3 cup of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Add in 5 egg yolks, 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, 2/3 cup water, 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Beat this together with an electric mixer just until smooth and well blended.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in the 5 room temperature egg whites and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, and beat on medium speed until it's frothy. Then increase to medium-high speed, and very slowly add in 1/3 cup granulated sugar while continuing to beat. When all the sugar has been added, increase to high speed, and continue beating until you see stiff glossy peaks.

One-third at a time, very gently fold in this meringue mixture into the chiffon batter until it is well combined. Divide the batter equally into the two prepared round cake pans.

Bake in your preheated oven at 340 F (170 C) for about 35 to 45 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched lightly at the center. Let the cakes rest in the pan sitting on metal racks for 5 minutes. After resting for 5 minutes, use a small knife to unstick the sides as needed. Invert the round cake pans onto the metal racks, lift off the pans and peel off the parchment paper the cakes were baked with. Let your cakes cool completely to room temperature on the metal racks.

Tres Leches Syrup:

In a liquid measuring cup, stir together 1 cup of evaporated milk (which is about 2/3 of a 12-fluid oz or 354 mL can), 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk (which is about 1/2 of a 14 oz or 396 g can), and 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Stir this together until well combined. You should end up with about 1 3/4 cup of liquid total. Set this aside.

Whipped Cream Filling and Frosting:

In the bowl of the stand-mixer, add in 8 oz of room temperature cream cheese, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 2 tsp of vanilla extract, and an optional 2 tbsp of dark rum. Then using a paddle attachment, beat them together till the cream cheese has softened and the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the bowl for any unmixed cream cheese.

Stop the beater. Add in 3 cups of very cold heavy cream, and continue to beat on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes, until the cream cheese and heavy cream are combined and uniform. Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle attachment and the bowl. Mix on medium-low speed for another 1 minute.

Switch to a whisk attachment, and continue beating on medium-high speed until the mixture forms very stiff peaks. Leave this frosting in the fridge till you're ready to use it.

Assembling the Cake:

The bottom sides of the cakes will have a more porous texture and can readily absorb the tres leches syrup. Place the first layer of vanilla sponge, bottom side up on your cake board.

Spoon half of the Tres Leches Syrup evenly over this first layer of cake, using the measuring cup to determine approximately half of the syrup. Let the vanilla sponge absorb the syrup for about 15 minutes.

Top the first layer of vanilla sponge with a generously thick layer of the whipped cream frosting, about 1/2" thick of frosting. Smooth it out into an even layer as much as possible.

Place the 2nd layer of cake with the flatter side up (the more porous side), so the top of the cake is as even as possible.

Spoon the remaining half of the Tres Leches Syrup evenly over the 2nd layer. Let the 2nd layer of vanilla sponge absorbs the syrup for about 15 minutes.

Use the remaining whipped cream frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. Use a bench scraper or offset spatula to smooth out the sides and the top of the cake as much as possible.

Press sliced almonds all around the sides of the cake, going about half of the way up the sides. Refrigerate this cake for the whipped cream frosting to firm up for a minimum of 1 hour, while you prepare the white chocolate glaze.

White Chocolate Glaze:

Set up a double boiler over simmering water. Add 2 oz of white chocolate (about 1/3 cup of chocolate chips). Stir until melted and smooth.

Add in 2 tbsp of coconut oil (or butter). Stir until smooth and combined. Make sure there are no lumps of white chocolate. Turn off the heat, but keep this mixture luke warm (with residual steam) until ready to drizzle over the cake. It will start to solidify once poured over cold cake.

Take the cake out of the fridge. Ladle the warm white chocolate drizzle into a disposable piping bag or small Ziploc bag. Seal it. Cut a small hole at the tip / one of the corners, and immediately drizzle the chocolate over the edges of the cake and allow it to drip down the sides of the cake. We like to space the chocolate drips about 1 inch apart. Let this rest in the fridge for the white chocolate glaze to firm up while we work on the white chocolate cream for rosettes.

White Chocolate Rosettes / Topping:

When the white chocolate cream (from the day before) is chilled, transfer this mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat it on medium-high speed for 1 minute, till it becomes light and fluffy.

While continuing to beat on medium-high speed, add 1/2 cup of very cold heavy cream, and continue whipping till you see stiff peaks.

Attach a large open star tip to a piping bag (I use a # 1M tip) and fill the piping bag with the white chocolate cream. Starting at the outer circumference of the cake, make a swirling line pattern that goes from the outer circumference going towards the center of the cake. I'm just squeezing the bag while making a swirling motion with my wrist while moving my arm towards the center. The swirls should overlap somewhat with the previous swirl. I aim to make about 12 lines of swirls on the top surface of the cake, going the same direction as the arms of a clock.

Finally create a mound of sliced almonds in the center of your cake, where the swirls converge. Keep this cake in the fridge till you're ready to serve. Enjoy!

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