MEXICAN RECIPES: Tres Leches Cake . . . Sopa de Calabaz

Tres Leches Cake 2 1/2 cups flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 7 eggs, separated 1 cup sugar 3/4 cup whole milk 1 tablespoon vanilla 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 1/2 pint whipping cream 1/4 cup brandy (opti...

Tres Leches (milk cake)
Tres leches cake has three milks -- usually whole, condensed and evaporated -- that soak the egg-and-butter-rich sponge cake to a gooey, custardy consistency. (McClatchy Tribune)

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.

Sopa de Calabaza (pumpkin soup)
Sopa de Calabaza (pumpkin soup)is a traditional favorite in many Hispanic cultures.(McClatchy Tribune)

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