I just love how Hector transformed this marvelous cake which first appeared in Rose's Heavenly Cakes. The original recipe was a gift from the "two hot tamales" and is the best of its kind I've ever tasted. Here, in Hector's own words, is Hectors special version: Tres Leches cake is immensely popular in areas of the United States with Hispanic immigrants. My nephew grew up in Pasco, Washington, and he repeatedly asks for this cake. When I visited him, I saw first hands that Tres Leches Cake is available everywhere, literally even at Walmart! I found Tres Leches Cake of every shape and flavor, everything was Tres Leches: chocolate, fresh fruit shortcake, weddings, shaped cakes, etc. One day, my nephew gave me a same day order to make his cake. He does know my cakes take at least 1 week to execute, or several weeks to plan, or a few months to design. I put my thoughts together, and concluded that Tres Leches Cake is a very simple cake: a dry sponge cake moistened in milk and frosted with whipped cream. Instead of baking my own sponge cake, I experimented with store bought dry lady fingers, those same ones used for Tiramisu. It worked on first trial. Here are some higher level tips: 1- Buy imported from Italy lady fingers. Anything else does not taste the same. 2- Instead of cooking the tres leches milk sauce from scratch, mix 1 can of sweetened condensed milk with 2 cans of evaporated milk. No additional sugar is needed. Add 1 vanilla bean, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of vodka, dark rum, pisco, grappa or any other neutral flavor liqueur. Make this one day prior and keep in the refrigerator, allowing the vanilla bean to infuse. (My new method for making the tres leches milk sauce is below.) 3- For the whipped cream, I like to use dulce de leche instead of sugar. Use the same recipe of Coffee Chiffonlets in RHC. Dulce de leche is an excellent whipped cream stabilizer because it adds more butter fat and because the sugar is caramelized. This is perhaps the secret to make my signature whipped cream piped rose. No, you can't make my rose with whipped cream from a can. 4- I like to make my whipped cream in 2 stages. This is something I learned when working at a Japanese bakery. A day ahead, without using a chilled bowl, whip the cream until small streaks form but before it starts to thicken. Do this at speed one, as the slower the cream emulsifies the more stable it will be. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to pipe, continue to whip until stiff. 5- To make a rose mold, use a 8" round mold, about 10 cups capacity. Arrange the soaked lady fingers in a criss-cross manner. Invert to unmold. To Make Tres Leches
I use residual heat and unmanned cooling. Bake for only 1 hour instead of 1.5 hours, using a enamel cast iron pot so it will retain residual heat. (Same as RHC, on water bath and loosely tented w foil.) Timer shuts off the oven at 1 hour and I let it cool in the oven with the door closed, overnight or 2 hours (ame concept as Rose's cheesecake.) Perfect non-scrambled caramelized milk!