- For greasing the pans, use Kerrygold Pure Irish Unsalted Butter
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for coating the pans
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 large egg whites
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2½ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 cup Evaporated Milk (see recipe below)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup Condensed Milk (see recipe below)
For the Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 4½ cups (1 liter) whole milk
- 1 cup (120 g) granulated sugar (or brown or raw sugar)
- 1 tablespoon butter, to thicken milk (optional)
For the Evaporated Milk
- 2 quarts (scant 2 litres) organic whole milk
"This dense and creamy dairy cake is indeed made using milk in three different forms: whole, evaporated, and condensed. When I first developed this recipe, I wanted to try and use all three milks fresh from the farm, even the seemingly complicated evaporated and condensed milks, so I learned how to prepare each from scratch. While it does take a fair bit of time, both evaporated and condensed milk are very simple, and the flavor is far superior to any canned version from the supermarket. The preparation of this cake is very similar to that of angel food cake, except the recipe includes the egg yolks as well. It is important to sift the flour at least three times and keep all ingredients really airy throughout the mixing process. If you have children, this is fun to make with them as it involves poking holes in the cake with a toothpick, which kids have loads of fun doing. I encouraged our little farmer, Geoffrey, to assist me in everything from manning the mixer to the pricking and, finally, pouring the tres leches over the cake. Let’s just say, he is very proud of “his milk cake.”
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Butter and flour the bottoms and sides of one 8-inch cake pan; set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, 7 to 8 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in 2 teaspoons of the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk in two additions (you begin and end with the flour mixture). Pour the batter into the pan; smooth the top.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325°F (165°C), and continue baking until the cake is golden brown and the middle springs back when pressed, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and let the cake cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet.
- Whisk together the remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla, Evaporated Milk, 1 cup of the heavy cream, Condensed Milk, and rum in a medium bowl. Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a skewer. Slowly drizzle half of the sauce over the cake, letting the liquid soak in before adding more. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Invert a plate on top of the cake. Lift the rack and gently invert the cake onto the plate. Drizzle the remaining sauce, including any liquid collected in the baking sheet, over the cake. Whip the remaining cream and frost the cake with it.
Sweetened Condensed Milk
"Condensed milk is cow’s milk from which water has been removed and sugar has been added. It is great for desserts. This makes about 1¾ cup (400 ml)."
- In a heavy-bottom pot, bring the milk and sugar to a boil over medium heat.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 2 hours, until the volume is reduced by half. The mixture should barely simmer and never bubble at any point.
- Stir every 15 minutes or so to keep the milk from burning on the bottom.
- After 2 hours, stir in the butter (if using). Remove from the heat and let cool.
- The mixture will thicken further after it cools. Pour it into a jar and store in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature before using.
"Evaporated milk is the same as condensed milk without added sugar. This makes about 1¾ cups (410 ml)."
- In a heavy-bottom pot, bring the milk to a boil over medium heat.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 2 hours, until the volume is reduced by 60 percent.
- The milk should barely simmer and never bubble at any point. Stir every 15 minutes or so to keep the milk from burning on the bottom.
- Remove from the heat and let cool. The milk will thicken further after it cools.
- Pour it into a jar and store in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature before using.
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