Tres leches with a twist

Pastel de tres leches is right up there as one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. Which is why I'm somewhat perplexed that it isn't more popular in Australia. In fact, the only place I have visited which has this most divine of desserts on the menu is Spice Temple. Great place for food, but a little on the expensive side if you're just looking for a slice of cake.

For those not in the know, pastel de tres leches is essentially a genoise sponge soaked in a mixture of evaporated, condensed and plain milk. The twist in this recipe? Coconut flour, to give my grain and nut-free friends an opportunity to partake in the sweet, milky goodness. As a bonus, you can easily substitute coconut milk and cream  for the milks and coconut oil for the butter to make it grain and dairy free. Winning!

Pastel de tres leches 

Cake

10 eggs, separated
1 cup panela*
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted

Topping

395g sweetened condensed milk
375ml evaporated milk
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 cups cream (35% fat)
Icing sugar to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 180 Celsius. Grease and line 30cm cake pan. 
Combine egg yolks, vanilla and panela. Beat at high speed until light and fluffy. Add coconut flour and baking powder. Fold through, trying not to lose too much volume. Add melted butter, a little at a time until well combined. Set aside. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks appear. Gently fold through batter. Place in prepared pan and bake 45 - 60 minutes until mix comes away from the side of the pan. Remove from oven and allow to cool before turning out. Set aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, mix condensed, evaporated and plain milk together. Pierce top of cake repeatedly with a skewer or fork. Pour over milk mixture and allow to soak in. Refrigerate if time allows (a minimum of 2 hours recommended). Whip cream, vanilla and sugar. Spread on cake. 

* Note that you can substitute any sugar or honey. Panela, also known as rapadura, has a great flavour and is readily available at metropolitan supermarkets.






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