Stories /

Eat this Word: Tres Leches



September 26, 2011


tres leches cake WHAT? Easy as uno, dos, tres. Pastel de tres leches, "tres leches" for short, is a dessert that just doesn’t know when to quit. This gooey confection contains a butter cake that is perforated and soaked with a combination of heavy cream and evaporated and condensed milks, and then topped with meringue frosting or whipped cream. Sometimes it is also topped with cajeta, a sweet caramel made from goat’s milk, or doused with coconut milk—making it cuatro or cinco leches, accordingly. The history of tres leches is ambiguous: although it has been embraced by Miami’s Cuban community, scholars place its origins in either Nicaragua, Mexico, or Guatemala. In Texas Monthly, Patricia Sharpe wrote that this "insanely rich" cake possibly originated with a "promotional recipe once distributed in Latin America, perhaps on cans of evaporated milk or with a brand of electric mixer." Tres leches is certainly doing its part to promote dairy products. As Sharpe writes, it’s "definitely got milk." WHERE? Marco Bustamante's Beard House dinner WHEN? September 26, 2011 HOW? Tres Leches Cake with Mérida Chocolate Buñuelos, Passion Fruit Gaznate, and Pomegranate Sorbet (Click here for a recipe for tres leches cake!)