MEXICAN RECIPES: Tres Leches Cake . . . Sopa de Calabaz
Tres Leches Cake
2½ cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
7 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
¾ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
½ pint whipping cream
¼ cup brandy (optional)
6 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1½ cups sugar
¾ cup water
Zest of 1 lemon
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.
Beat 7 egg whites and sugar with electric mixer in large bowl until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Beat in yolks one at a time. Beat in one-third of the flour mixture and one-third of whole milk; repeat twice, beating until smooth. Add vanilla.
Pour mixture into buttered and floured 10-inch round cake pan. Lower oven to 350 degrees; bake until toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes; unmold. Cut cake into 3 horizontal layers; place on wire racks set into shallow baking pans.
Combine evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream and brandy in medium bowl. Prick top of each cake layer with toothpick. Drizzle one-third of milk mixture over each cake layer; set aside.
For meringue, beat 6 egg whites, cream of tartar and salt with electric mixer on medium-high speed in large bowl to form stiff peaks; set aside. Combine sugar, water and lemon zest in medium saucepan. Heat to boil over medium heat; cook until temperature reaches 240 degrees on candy thermometer, or until mixture reaches soft-ball stage. Remove from heat. Carefully add syrup in thin stream to egg whites, beating with electric mixer on medium speed. Beat until firm, 5 to 6 minutes. Restack cake layers; cover sides and top of cake with meringue. Refrigerate until serving time.
Yield: Serves 12.
Sopa de Calabaza
9 cups water
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
½ white onion
2¼ pounds pumpkin or winter squash, peeled, seeded, cut in ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ pound tomatoes, finely chopped
2 sprigs epazote
Toppings: Crumbled queso fresco, chopped onion, chopped green chilies, lime quarters
Combine water, 2 garlic cloves and salt in stockpot. Cut 1 slice off onion half; add to pot. Heat to boil; cook 5 minutes. Meanwhile, chop remaining onion; reserve. Add pumpkin to pot; lower heat to medium. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard onion slice and garlic.
Finely chop remaining 2 garlic cloves. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and chopped onion; fry until translucent, 1 minute. Add tomatoes; fry until reduced, about 5 minutes.
Place about 1 cup cooked pumpkin in blender with some broth; puree. Return to pot. Add tomato mixture to soup. Season with salt if necessary. Add epazote; simmer over low heat, about 10 minutes. Set aside to season, about 30 minutes. Heat through; serve with toppings as desired.
Yield: Serves 6.