Yay for the dulce de leche and three cheers for the tres leche – that’s literally all I had in the joke department and I’m somewhat ashamed of myself for not only typing it, but allowing myself to post this anyway! 🙂
I’ve been on a bit of a Mexicano kick lately and it might just be because I’m really growing into loving the culture. Where I live in Arizona is closer to the Mexican border and thanks to an expansion of friends since I’ve moved out of my secondary education life, I’ve really grown to appreciate cultures other than my own. For the record I am of Caribbean/Hispaniola (Jamaican and Haitian) cultures so my culture compared to that of the Latino culture isn’t as much of a tradeoff which is also probably why I love it so much. Be it the spices, their treats, the people, man for the past almost two years I think I’ve really just grown to love a ethnicity and nationality that I don’t think I had a proper introduction to in either New York or Florida (fyi the main latin cultures in those areas are Dominican and Cuban where I lived).
On to the food – we’re coming up on Cinco de Mayo – every gingros favorite Latin holiday although once again last year I realized that while it is a very important holiday it’s really a major holiday in a specific part of Mexico! Who knew?! But I still wanted a blog post for it anyway and also I love dulce de leche and oranges. I opted to use flavors that I loved and to maybe turn a dish that – while delicious – was a bit too sweet and one dimensional for me. Per explanation above, because of my culture I do love fruit! apple, oranges, mangos; kiwi, plums, you name it!!!! and I usually try to incorporate fruit into any type of sweet thing I make. I also love chocolate because well…..i am chocolate! (another lame joke….sorry)
I made this specific recipe in a cake pan and not a glass dish which is traditional of tres leche cakes, mostly because I wanted pictures like the ones shown, but also because I wanted to be a bit different. If you do want to do this method as well, then when you baked the cake you’ll want to flour it very well and then when you put the cake back into the pan to pour the milk into it, you’ll want to line it with plastic wrap to make it as easy as possible to take out. It was about a 15 minute hassle, mostly because you have to be extremely gentle with it, but just look at the pictures! It was completely and utterly worth it.
If oranges are not your citrus of choice, I do think most other fruits will go well it, with the exception of maybe lemons and limes; I think the tartness of those two citrus’ will be a little too counterproductive to the main flavor profile of the dish. I do like grapefruit maybe as an option. Another option is to top it off with fruit, once again which is traditional of this dish. I chose to top it with the traditional whipped cream and with the less traditional cocoa nibs. Cocoa nibs have no sweetness whatsoever and actually lend some bitterness to the dish which is good, in my personal opinion, as the dish can be a bit too sweet naturally.
If you’re not in the mood to make dulce de leche at home, you can always buy it at basically every supermarket and it’s sold next to the condensed milk anyway, just at a slightly higher price. To also note, because dulce de leche is obviously thicker than condensed milk, you won’t be getting as wet of a cake as usual – once again which I like – and it will have a bit more punch of flavor, but the evaporated milk and heavy cream prevent you from feeling like you’re chewing on caramel the entire time.
One more note: if you look at the pictures you’ll see I made some candied oranges for this post, I found the original recipe on Martha Stewart’s website, it didn’t exactly go as planned as I think the timing for that recipe was a bit off…..by 4 hours. It took me some extra time – which I wasn’t expecting – to make the candied oranges, but well worth it. it’s not really edible, but it does look gorgeous for decoration. If you do plan on making this then I think you should make this and the dulce de leche the night before, which will somewhat make this a three day process…..sorry. i hope you all enjoy the remainder of your day and week and thanks for stopping by!
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ORANGE DULCE DE TRES LECHE CAKE
8 in. x 3 in. |20.3 cm x 7.6 cm| cake pan
5 eggs |270 g|
1 c. |200 g| sugar
1 1/4 c. |175 g| flour
1 tsp. |4 g| baking powder
1/4 tsp. |8 g| fine sea salt
1/2 c. |115 g| unsalted butter |1 stick| (melted & cooled)
1 tsp. |5 g| vanilla paste
Zest of 1 orange
1 can condensed milk |14 oz. | | 306 g| (or ready-made Dulce de Leche)
1 can evaporated milk |12 oz. | |340 g|
1 c. |240 g| heavy cream
1 tsp. |5 g| vanilla paste
4 tbsp. |55 g| rum
1 c. |240 g| heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. |30 g| powdered sugar
1 tsp. |5 g| vanilla paste
Candied Orange Slices (optional)
Preheat your oven to 200F/93C. Cut your orange slices as thinly and evenly as possible, if you don’t have a mandolin this will be a bit difficult, I didn’t and a long serrated knife got the job done as well. Place your orange slices on a baking tray with a wire rack on the tray and sift the entire powdered sugar mixture over the oranges, the liquid from the oranges will soak up the powdered sugar and will help it candy in the oven. Place your orange slices in the oven for about 5 hours. Let it stand there overnight to fully dry out.
Dulce de Leche
Fill a large pot with water and over medium heat for 3 hours cook your condensed milk. You can to make sure that the can is always covered with water and check the pot around every 30 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature before opening.
Turn oven at 325F/165C and make sure to adjust your oven rack to middle position. Spray your pan with butter flavored cooking spray and with a pastry brush make sure the entire pan is coated with the spray, then lightly coat the spray layer with flour to the pan making it coat the entire pan again to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan.
Sift your flour, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl and whisk together to mix.
With an electric mixer on medium speed (3 if your mixer has numbers), add your first egg and your orange zest and start mixing, you want beat the eggs one by one on a medium speed, for about 45-60 seconds after each egg addition – your mixture won’t be very thick, but it should have some slight thick movement to it –, once all your eggs have been added, slowly add the sugar as in a light dusting, until all sugar is incorporated. – once again your mixture won’t be terribly thick, but it will be thicker than it was with just the eggs – The egg mix will be very fluffy and turning a light yellow; slowly add the melted butter and then the vanilla, keeping the mixer running in low (about 2 on a mixer with numbers) this will make the egg mixture a lot thicker.
With a spatula, add the flour in batches and mix until combined. DO NOT OVER MIX and do not add too much at one time, this should take about 5 transfers of flour to egg mixture. Transfer batter to your prepared pan and using an offset spatula to even out the batter. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes or until cake looks light golden or a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the cake.
Remove the cake, let it cool in the pan for about 15 minutes and then transfer to a wired rack to cool completely. Poke the top of the cake using a toothpick, skewer or fork all over. Pretend like it gave you the wrong study guide for your finals!
Whisk Dulce de Leche, evaporated milk and cream together with the vanilla and rum in a sauce pan, warm over low heat until completed mixed. Remove from heat and set aside.
Once the cake has cool pour the milk mixture over the cake, cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerated for 4 hours or overnight. I prefer overnight since I’m lazy.
**If you plan on using the pan in the recipe then I recommend lining the inside of your cake pan with plastic wrap to help with removing it out of the pan the next day**
Place heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and mix on medium speed until soft peaks form. This will take about 3 to 5 minutes. I usually place the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes before making whipping cream. This trick always works to form a smooth and fluffy frosting.
To assembly the cake spread the whipped cream over the cake. Decorate with fruit if you want. Refrigerate to chill until ready to serve. Remember, if decorating with fruit; do not add until ready to serve.
downloadable recipe: ORANGE DULCE DE TRES LECHE CAKE