'3' Cakes

I was going to talk about a Tres Leches cake but thought about the Trois Frères cake, too. Completely different cakes, but both revolve around the number three. So, I decided to talk about both.

Tres Leches Cake

As the name suggests, this Mexican dessert is a cake is composed of three 'milks': generally speaking - cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk. The cake for this dessert is generally sponge, and must be a little firm to handle all the liquid going inside of it. From experience, boxed cake mixes are too soft to handle it (I tried a shortcut and it didn't work out - don't skimp, use your favorite homemade yellow cake recipe).

Most milk mixtures for Tres Leches will call for about a cup or two of cream, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, and 1 can of evaporated milk. This is whisked with a flavoring (typically rum or an eggnog flavored liqueur, I like Rompope) and poured over the top of the baked and cooled cake. Add about 1/4 cup at a time, waiting until it all soaks in, and repeating until you can't add any more liquid. Decorate with sweetened whipped cream.

Tres Frères Baking Mold
Trois Frères Cake

Trois Frères is a rice flour-based cake baked in a special shaped mold - see right - and flavored with angelica root. It was named after three French brothers and pastry cooks from the 19th century. If the special pan isn't available, a savarin mold will work, or even a shallow Kugelhopf mold, but traditionally the mold should have some shape or crown decor to it.

This recipe is adapted from the 1988 printing of the Larousse Gastronomique.

Trois Frères Cake
  • Pâte sablée disk, baked (Recipe enough to roll out for a base the same diameter as the Trois Frères cake mold. Allow for shrinkage and cut a slightly larger circle.)
  • 9 ounces caster sugar (fine granulated sugar)
  • 7 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 ounces rice flour
  • 7 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ounce Maraschino liqueur
  • 2 ounces candied candied angelica, about, cut into small dice or diamond shapes
  • Apricot flavored simple syrup
  • Apricot glaze, or strained heated apricot jam
  • Slivered or sliced almonds

Place the sugar, eggs, and salt in a mixing bowl set over a bain marie with simmering water. Whisk until thick and frothy. Add in the rice flour, butter and maraschinos. Fill a buttered and floured Trois Frères cake mold, and bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven until the cake tests done and is lightly browned.

Invert and cool the cake. Place the cooled cake over the top of the baked circle of pâte sablée. Douse with the apricot simple syrup. Brush with apricot glaze and decorate with candied angelica and almonds. Serve.

Enjoy.


 

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