Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Coconut Tres Leches Cake

Submitted by: Heather

This was a surprisingly delicious dessert.  Why surprising?  Because I'm not usually drawn to coconut desserts.  I think they're fine, but I normally pick something chocolate or even fruity.  And I don't like soggy cake. But I made this cake with my husband in mind, since he loves the combination of cake and milk together. He grew up dumping every dessert into a bowl and drowning it in milk.  No matter what dessert it was, be it pie or cake or even ice cream!  We used to have somewhat heated discussions over the fact that he would plop my homemade cake into a milk-filled bowl without ever appreciating the fine crumb or light texture of the cake.  It was all lost in the milk.  So I threatened making only cake mix cakes from then on out.  No matter, he had to have his milk ON the cake and wouldn't even consider having it on the side in a glass like I had suggested.  We've now reached an agreement that he at least taste the cake before he drowns it.  I just want him to know what he's missing, even though he's blissfully happy with his soggy cake.  Wow, I really went off on a tangent.  And after that whole explanation, I can't believe I even made this cake!

Anyhoo, I bring this up because this is basically a cake soaked in milk.  Not just your run of the mill skim or even whole milk, though.  This is a milk-soaked cake that even a sog-o-phobic can love.  The combination of the whipping cream, evaporated milk and cream of coconut really does something wonderful to the cake.  It's delicious, even though I used a cake mix (gasp!).  It was just such a busy weekend that I didn't have time to make once from scratch.  Next time I'm going to try a homemade cake and I'll probably start with the one that Mel from Melskitchencafe.com suggests, since that is where I got this recipe.  I hope you'll try this cake, even if you think it may not be your kind of dessert.  It may surprise you, as it did me.  And don't forget the toasted coconut AND the bananas.  Both of them added a lot of texture and flavor that took this dessert over the top.

*Serves 12-16

homemade yellow cake recipe

Milk Syrup:
1 can (15 ounces) cream of coconut*
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

*"Cream of coconut" is not to be confused with coconut milk.  They're very different.  Cream of coconut can be found either in the ethnic food section by the Mexican or Asian foods, or in the mixed drinks/alcoholic beverage section of most grocery stores.

2 medium-size ripe bananas
Sweetened cream (see instructions below)
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted (spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake it at 350 degrees until golden brown, 7 minutes, or toast it in a skillet over medium-low heat on the stovetop).

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Lightly spray a 9X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Mix and bake cake mix according to box or recipe instructions.  Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool completely, 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the milk syrup: in a blender, combine the cream of coconut, evaporated milk, cream, and vanilla and process until smooth. 

Pierce the cooled cake all over the top with the tines of a fork or a thin wooden skewer. We are talking all over! The more pokes, the more the syrup will soak into the cake. Using a large spoon or ladle, spoon some of the milk syrup over the cake. Let the syrup soak into the cake, then continue spooning the syrup on top until all of it has been used up. When you have finished, not all of the syrup will be completely absorbed and might be pooling on the top but that’s ok because it will absorb as it refrigerates. Cover the cake loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until all of the syrup is absorbed, 2 hours. Cut the bananas, if using crosswise into ¼-inch slices. Slice the cake and serve it with sliced bananas, sweetened cream and toasted coconut, if desired. 

Sweetened Cream:
Pour 1 cup heavy whipping cream into a large (preferably chilled) glass bowl and beat it on high speed until thickened 1 ½ minutes. Stop the machine and add ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Makes 2 cups.

Source: melskitchencafe.com

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