MAY 1, 2011
This week we will be celebrating both Cinco de Mayo and Teacher Appreciation Week. Needless to say, I am going to be spending lots of time in the kitchen. Baking for the teacher’s give me lots of joy. Last year, for the teachers, I made Cake in a Jar and in prior year I have made dozens of cookies and pounds of candy. This year I am using seasonal fruits to inspire my gift giving.
But, before I get to my baking adventures for the teachers, I am planning my Cinco de Mayo menu. Along with my traditional guacamole, shredded beef tacos with pickled onions, red rice, and mojitos(more on these recipes later), I made a Chili Rellano Tart and this Dulce de Leche Cake. One very small bite of this cake and I couldn’t believe how wonderful it tasted. If there was a show for “The Best Thing I Ever Baked”, this would be the winner. If I could submit this to the show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, they would agree that this is hands down, one of the best cakes, ever!
It is so moist and so light. It is a very basic white cake (with booze), but what makes it so rich and delicious is, while warm, a mixture of heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk is poured directly over the cake(my thighs are growing as I write this). Then it sits in the pan, soaking up all this goodness, while the cake cools. As it was cooling, I made some homemade dulce de leche. Right before serving, I sliced the cake and drizzled the caramel over the top. This is not something one could keep in the house, it is simply a special occasion kind of treat!
Dulce de Leche Cake – Pure Heaven
adapted from Saveur Magazine
yield: 1 9 x 13″ cake
2 tsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. plus 2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1⁄2 tsp. fine salt
6 eggs, at room temperature, separated
1 1⁄4 cups sugar
1⁄2 cup whole milk
1 1⁄2 tbsp. dark rum
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups homemade dulce de leche
• preheat oven to 350°. grease a 9″ × 13″ baking pan with the butter and then dust with 1 tablespoon. of the flour. tap out the excess flour, and set aside.
• sift the remaining flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
• put the egg whites into the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. while the mixer is still running, add the sugar in a gradually and continue beating again to soft peaks.
• switch from the whisk attachment to the paddle and add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
• alternately add the reserved flour mixture and the whole milk, starting and ending with the flour. add the rum and vanilla and beat again briefly until smooth.
•. pour batter into reserved baking pan. tap the pan on the counter to get the batter level. bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Set the cake aside and let cool slightly for 30 minutes.
• whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a large glass measuring cup.
• using a knife, poke the cake with holes all over, penetrating to the bottom of the pan. pour the milk mixture over the warm cake and set aside to let cool completely.
• cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled and liquid is absorbed, at least 4 hours. spread the dulce de leche across the top of the cake and serve.