tres-leches

I’ve been talking about this thing on twitter all week. It was quite the production. Mostly I was worried that in the attempt the cake would turn into a big sloppy mess on the cake plate. But it didn’t. I was very surprised.

My husband usually asks for a marble cake for his birthday, and every time I make it, I try making it moister than the last one. This is by far the winner.  I doubt you can get much moister than soaking a cake completely in three different kinds of milk. When I made the marble effect, I did the zebra method where you pour a cup of vanilla batter into the center, and then top it with a cup of chocolate, alternating back and forth until the cake is finished.  It ends up really pretty, the only thing is, once you pour in the milk, the pretty design all but disappears.  So when you make it, don’t overexert yourself making the perfect marbelization.  You won’t be able to see it anyway.  I am not even that big of fan of chocolate cake myself, and if I were to make it again, I’d just keep the whole batter vanilla and not add the chocolate.

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ANYWAY, here it is: tres leches marble cake with strawberries and chocolate ganache!

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chocolate marble tres leches cake

2 1/2 cups (360g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons, or 170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (330g) granulated sugar
8 egg whites
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups (340g) milk
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder (Dutch processed)
1/3 cup (55g) chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 14 ounce (400g) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup (230mL) milk
1 cup (230mL) heavy cream
1 pint strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar

for the ganache:

3/4 cup heavy cream
1 12 ounce bag (340g) chocolate chips
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees  (180 degrees Celsius).  Butter 2 8″ cake pans and line with parchment paper.  Butter parchment paper and dust it and the sides of the pans with flour.

2.  In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

3.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth, about a minute on medium speed.  Add in sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes more. With mixer on medium-low, add in egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add in vanilla and beat until mixture becomes cohesive and smooth, about 3-5 minutes.

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4.  With mixer on low, add in a third of the flour mixer, followed by half of the milk and the sour cream.  Add in the next third of flour, the remaining milk, and finally the remainder of the flour mixture.  Mix until just combined.

5.  Remove a third of the batter and place in a medium bowl.  Sift in cocoa powder and pour in melted chocolate.  Gently fold together.  Divide white batter evenly among pans and drop chocolate batter by spoonfuls, then swirl with a knife (No need to be perfect here, the tres leches will really hide any pretty patterns).  Tap pans on the counter to remove any bubbles.

6.  Bake at 350 (180 degrees celsius), or until a toothpick inserted into the center ones comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes.  Let cool in pans for at least ten minutes before removing to a cooling rack.  Remove cakes from pans.  Peel off parchment paper and put the paper rounds back into the pans.  When cakes are completely cool, carefully saw off the tops with a serrated knife, leaving a 3/4 inch border around the edges (this will prevent the sides of that cake from getting drenched, and will give the cake stability).  Eat the scraps.  Return the cakes to the pans with the cut sides up.

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7.  Mix condensed milk, regular milk and cream together in a large glass measuring cup.  Pour evenly over the tops of both cakes.  Refrigerate cakes for 6 hours or overnight.

8.  Reserve the 4 prettiest strawberries for garnish.  Remove stems from the remainder and cut into thin slices.  Toss in a bowl with 2 tablespoons sugar.   Place three pieces of parchment paper on a cake plate, and place the first layer, cut side up, on top of the paper.  Top with sliced strawberries.  Top with second layer, cut side down.

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9.  Prepare the ganache.  In a medium sized microwave safe bowl, heat the cream until it just boils, about 30-60 seconds.  Immediately pour in chocolate chips and let sit for about a minute.  Add in vanilla and honey.  Whisk together until shiny and smooth.  If lumps remain, microwave it for another 20 seconds, and whisk again.  Pour over the top of the cake and use an offset spatula to smooth the ganache over the edges and around the sides.  Refrigerate for a about 30 minutes, until set.  Run a pairing knife around the bottom edge of the cake to separate the ganache from the parchment paper.  Remove parchment paper.  Cut 4 reserved strawberries in half and arrange on the top of the cake.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

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