I finally got around making one of my favorite desserts of all times – Bizcochuelo (bees-coh-CHOOEH-loh) de Tres Leches, or cake with three milks sauce, or Three milks cake.  Dulce de Tres Leches is a very popular dessert throughout Latin America, and in Ecuador it is as popular and traditional as Arroz con Menestra y Carne Asada.

I’ve eaten several versions of Dulce de Tres Leches in the past – most of them consisted of an airy cake, almost like an angel food cake.  I’ve also had the “quick version” which uses a box of yellow cake mix for the cake.  This bizcochuelo, is a sponge cake and it is quite different from the Dulce de Tres Leches I’ve had before.  It is dense but it is the perfect consistency to absorb the milks mixture.

I got this recipe from my aunt, who is currently studying to become a baker/pastry chef in Ecuador.  The measurements for the cake were in cups (thank goodness!).  However, her measurements for the milk sauce were in grams, so I winged it.  I had about 1/2 cup of the milk mixture left over, but I poured some of it onto the cake the following day to keep it moist.  This brings me to the next point – this dessert needs to sit overnight to 24hrs in the fridge before eating.  I know – it is VERY hard to resist, but this is the only way the cake will absorbs the delicious milk mixture.  The other important thing to take into consideration is, when you store your cake in the fridge overnight, you need to make sure that you seal it tight.  This cake will absorb any odors in your fridge, making it a very unpleasant cake.

I remember my mom serving this cake with duraznos en almibar (doo-RAS-nohs ehn ahl-MEE-bar), a.k.a. canned peaches in syrup.  She would cut a piece, top with a couple of peaches and pour a little bit of the syrup on top, making this cake even sweeter!  If you want a more “elegant” presentation, you can top it with buttercream or with a simple whipped topping and sprinkle some dry coconut flakes on top.  Let me know how you like this version.  Enjoy!

Bizcochuelo de Tres Leches

Printable Version

6 eggs, separated
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 cup whole milk
pinch of salt
Juice of 2 limes
Lime zest of the 2 limes

Milk Mixture
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-fl oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 pint heavy cream
2 shots rum
1 capful of vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven at 400F.

Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment and beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt at medium-high speed until they form soft peaks.  Slowly add in the sugar and the egg yolks one by one.  Add the baking powder, lime zest and lime juice.

Lower the speed to medium-low and add the flour alternating with the whole milk.

Grease and flour a 9×11 glass baking dish.  Pour the cake batter into the baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

In another bowl, whisk the sweetened condensed milk, the evaporated milk, the heavy cream, the rum and the vanilla until incorporated.

Poke the cake several times with a fork.  Pour the milk mixture over the cake.  You will most likely have some left.  Save in a covered container in the fridge to add to the cake the next day to keep it moist.

Cover and seal the baking dish tightly and refrigerate overnight to 24 hours.  Serve cold with peaches, mangos, buttercream or whipped cream topping.