Tres leches ("three milks"), a cake drenched in sweet, milky syrup and topped with meringue, has nearly overtaken flan as a favorite dessert in Latino restaurants. We lightened the traditional recipe by about 245 calories a serving by using lower-fat versions of the milks that give the cake its name.
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup half-and-half
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can fat-free evaporated milk
3 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.
Place salt and 4 egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Place 1 teaspoon vanilla and eggs in a large bowl; beat until thick and pale (about 3 minutes). Gently fold egg white mixture into egg mixture. Lightly spoon 2/3 cup flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Gently fold flour into egg mixture. Spoon batter into prepared dish. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
To prepare the milk mixture, combine the half-and-half, condensed milk, and evaporated milk. Pierce the entire top of cake with a fork, and pour the milk mixture over the cake.
To prepare meringue, beat 3 egg whites with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Combine 1 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 238°. Pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating at high speed. Stir in rind and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Spread over cake.
I'm pleased to report this got rave reviews, all around, even though it followed a massive and delicious Mexican feast. I'm not a huge meringue fan but the lemon zest does a lot for it! I worried, a bit, making the meringue, not having a candy thermometer, but got advice online re the cold water test and it worked fine. Was also aided, I think, by the suggestion to add a wee bit of honey or corn syrup to the sugar water to prevent crystallization- very helpful and very interesting science about invert sugars, I thought.
i was a bit unsure of what i was doing for most of the steps but it turned out WONDERFUL! i put it in the fridge after putting the milk mixture on top and then again after the merengue. was really a good dessert.
I was very pleased with this recipe. I never made an angel food cake or any other like this and I was very pleased with the outcome. I served it at a party to celebrate New Mexico's centennial and everyone raved about it. You would never know it is a lightened version. I will definitely make it again.
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