I made my own birthday cake! And it wasn’t half as depressing as it might sound. This was an experiment that I expected to come out terribly. Not only a hot mess, but a confused, over the top hot mess that should never be seen.
Like the infamous Kwanzaa cake from Semi- homemade Sandra.
But no, this turned out incredibly rich and amazing, proving that too much of a good thing sometimes just doesn’t exist.
I combined my favorite cake with my favorite cake topping (because frosting is too mainstream). Tres leches cake is a traditional Mexican cake in which three different types of milk are soaked in the spongy, light cake; the result is a cake that tastes like ice cream melted into it. Isn’t that the reason we have cake and ice cream anyways?
What you need:
- 2 small nectarines or whatever stone fruit you decide to use
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1+1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 6 large egg whites (crack the egg and pour it out in your hand so only the whites go through your fingers into the bowl and the yolk stays in your hand)
- 3 egg yolks
- Pinch of cream of tartar (trust… I’ll explain later)
- 1+1/2 cups sugar
- 2+1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- heavy whipping cream (I never claimed this was good for your health)
This is definitely not a cake you can just throw together on a whim for a party tonight. It’s a cake you use as therapy baking… you know, like when you’re going a bit mad and nobody else should be around unless they really really love you unconditionally and would never speak of your craziness to anybody else.
….One of those nights.
So here are the steps to get your bake on.
- Melt your butter in a pyrex and pour it in a 9 inch round cake pan. Slice up your peaches to be about 1/2 inch thick. Preheat your oven to 365 degrees.
- Spread about half of your brown sugar in the buttery cake pan, assemble your peaches in the pan on top of the brown sugar and spread the rest of your brown sugar over the peaches (layer: butter- brown sugar- peaches- brown sugar).
- In a separate bowl, beat your six egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. I add in a pinch of cream of tartar because it’s acidity helps keep the egg whites stiff and full of air rather than collapsing. If you want to learn more about the chemistry behind it, read it here: http://www.kitchensavvy.com/journal/2009/03/beating-egg-whites.html. I have limited chemistry experience, though I enjoy pretending I know what I’m doing.
- Next, beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until it’s light yellow. Once this is done, gradually fold in the egg whites with a spatula so you don’t break down the egg whites again.
- Finally, sift your flour a bit at a time into the egg- sugar mixture. Sifting is important so that you don’t get clumps of flour when it’s baked; this is also a delicate batter that can easily collapse if you just pour the flour in all at once. Don’t let it collapse.
- Pour the batter over the peaches in the cake pan until it’s nearly full then bake it for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. If you insert a toothpick, it should come out clean.
- While the cake is baking, whisk together your three milks with the brandy and cinnamon if you’d like.
- When the cake is done don’t flip it. Don’t flip it.
- DON’T FLIP IT.
- Poke little holes all over the cake while it’s in the pan (I said not to flip it). Pour the milk and brandy mixture over the cake and let it sit for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator, but preferably overnight. You do still have that bottle of brandy, right?
- Flip it and enjoy with your brandy!
P.S. When if you feel like getting more interesting with this cake, try steeping some chai in the three milks before pouring it over the cake; it’s got the warm spices that go so well with peaches. I actually did this and left out the brandy and it tasted wonderful.
P.P.S. For another autumnal kick to the cake use that brandy again to make some whipped cream! Whip together 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream with a tablespoon of maple syrup and 2 teaspoons of brandy (errr… maybe 3 wouldn’t hurt).