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Author Notes: This recipe is inspired from the Dulce De Leche Cake in saveur.com which itself is inspired from the well known Latin American Tres Leches Cake. It is a wonderful sponge cake baked in a 9x13 pyrex that I then soak with a combination of evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream, all spiked with some rum, and topped with a 4th type of milk (Dulce de Leche). I sometimes must resist hard not to drink it all by itself. Hey, I can’t help myself. I am from the Caribbean so I love anything with rum in it. I then top the cake with a store-bought dulce de leche. I have decreased the amount of cake batter as in the original recipe so that it absorbs better the liquids, and I have also cut down the amount of condensed milk (from a ful can to 1/4 of a can) in order to reduce the sweetness. As you bite into the cake, you will feel you are in heaven and all your worries are gone. D) If you like dulce de leche icecream, or anything that has caramel in it, you will love this dessert. You can also make it into any type of holiday confection. For example, for Easter, as in the picture, you can put in the middle of the cake a small chocolate egg (with wrapping) as decoration. For Christmas, you can put a few marashino or candied cherries and mint leaves in the middle… —Regine
- 2/3 cup 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons rum, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon Five Spice powder (see notes)
- 1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
- 1 1/2 cans (each can is usually 12 oz) of evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 16 oz jar dulce de leche (see notes)
- 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 eggs separated, room temperature
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 of a 14 oz can of evaporated milk
- Heat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9" × 13" baking pan pyrex (I prefer the latter).
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside. In a separate container, mix milk with 1 tbsp rum, vanilla, and zest. To measure the 1/3 tsp portion of the baking powder, just eyeball it using a teaspoon. Put the egg whites into a large bowl and beat with electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Note soft peaks mean that when you lift the beater, tips that curl over are formed. While the mixer is still running, gradually add the sugar and continue beating again to soft peaks. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add the reserved flour mixture and the milk mixture in 3 parts, beating until smooth after each addition.
- Pour batter into reserved baking pan and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Set the cake aside and let cool slightly for 30 minutes.
- Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk (again eyeball amount to only take 1/4 of what is in the can), evaporated milk, heavy cream, five spice, and the remaining 3 tbsp rum in a bowl. Using a skewer or toothpick, poke the cake with holes all over, penetrating to the bottom of the pan. Pour the milk mixture over the warm cake and set aside to let cool completely.
- Carefully cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Spread the dulce de leche across the top of the cake. I like to take a fork and draw lines all over the dulce de leche. Be careful as you spread the dulce de leche as it can get stuck to the top of the cake. My trick is to drop various spoonfuls of the dulce de leche all over the cake and then spread but pressing lightly so that the top of cake (crumbles) does not mix with the dulce de leche.
- NOTES: The Five Spice powder (I usually buy the McCormick brand) is a blend of ground cinnamon, cloves, star anise, pepper, and ginger. It is also wonderful in spice cakes and hot chocolate. For the dulce de leche, I do not recommend the one that comes in a can (similar to the cans used for condensed milk). Instead, buy a more traditional one in an international/Latin American store. The brand Goya among others sells a 15 oz jar of it (it’s OK if it is not 16 oz exactly). Dulce de Leche is also known as “cajeta de leche”, “milk caramel spread.”
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Holiday Confection