Falling in Love with Tres Leches
Since I have a well-documented addiction to all foods in the cream family, my love for tres leches, or three-milk cake, should have come as no great surprise. One of the dessert's key ingredients is condensed milk -- a thick, sugary concoction so delicious in its own right, that combined with evaporated milk, heavy cream and a simple white cake, the Latin sensation had my taste buds dancing a jig in ecstasy. So moist! Such an unexpected pudding-like texture!
I normally don't wax poetic on Costa Rican desserts. To be fair, there are some notable exceptions in the bunch (budin comes to mind), but as a general rule I find most postres either dry or lacking in flavor altogether. Then, one day a few years ago while finishing lunch at my Costa Rican homestay family, I was presented with a small slice of tres leches, and my world forever changed. The cake was creamy and slightly sweet, and with each heavenly morsel of moist, moist cake, I tasted hints of vanilla and eggnog. Despite being soaked in three kinds of milk, the dessert isn't soggy, just incredibly rich and bursting with flavor.
For me, tres leches is the missing link between custard and cake; the perfect combination of angel food and meringue, completely drenched in cream. In Costa Rica, you can find it in every pastry shop and dessert menu. If you haven't sampled this mind-blowing cake and have a sweet tooth like me, visit your local Latin grocer, or better yet, make this signature treat yourself. There are tons of recipes out there, and most are easy to follow. My only advice is to make the cake at least one day in advance, as it's always better the following day.
For our fabulous tres leches recipe and other Costa Rican favorites, please see our recipe section. Buen Provecho!