First bake: tres leches cake

Tres leches cakeA few weeks ago I posted about some Spanish bread I made as practice for my much-delayed Spanish-themed housewarming do. The big event took place the other week and the bread was indeed a success – as was this traditional Spanish dessert, tres leches cake.

I first saw this being made by Simon Rimmer on Something for the Weekend (RIP) years ago and have always wanted an excuse to bake it. Look away now if stodge makes you squeamish, as this is the kind of dessert that clogs up your arteries when all you’re doing is thinking about it!

The cake is basically a vanilla sponge soaked in a quite frankly amazing sauce made purely from double cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk – hence the name, as ‘tres leches’ means ‘three milks’. The cake is chilled and then served with even more of the sauce on top!

Apologies for the lack of pictures, but we were so busy cooking many, many tapas dishes for the party that I only remembered to take a picture after I’d served up the cake! It did taste absolutely amazing – a little bit like rice pudding in cake form. I served it cold but we had the leftovers hot the next day – even more amazing and really nice and comforting on a cold evening.

I would thoroughly recommend making this if you’re planning a Spanish-themed meal, or simply just because. It really is a lovely treat – just be prepared to spend a loooong time working off the calories…!

The recipe

On the BBC Food website here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/tres_leches_cake_52393

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First bake: double chocolate loaf cake

Double chocolate loaf cakeI had a bit of a panic on Friday night when my mum called me and reminded me that it was my brother’s birthday the following day – and that I was expected to bring a cake! Luckily, I didn’t have to make a mad dash to the shops, as I had plenty of chocolate in for this rather lovely double chocolate loaf cake. As it so happens, it’s also Chocolate Week this week, although it could be argued that it’s always chocolate week in my house…

(Edit: WordPress has just reminded me that this is the 100th post on this blog, which is pretty amazing and worth marking with a chocolate cake!)

As is usually the case with BBC Good Food recipes, this was nice and easy to make. I did, however, mess with the recipe a bit and add a teensy bit more chocolate than it originally called for. Oh, ok, a lot more chocolate – to the extent that this version should probably be called quadruple chocolate loaf cake.

Double chocolate loaf cake mix

Double chocolate loaf cake mix

The chocolate in the cake itself comes from cocoa and chunks of chocolate. I pretty much doubled the quantities of both without thinking, adding some white and milk chocolate to the plain chocolate called for in the recipe. Once the cake has baked and cooled, you’re supposed to melt ‘a few chunks’ of chocolate and drizzle it over the top. I, of course, melted as much chocolate as I could find and dolloped it on top!

Double chocolate loaf cakeThe cake did take a lot longer to cook than specified in the recipe; I think I left it in my gas oven for 20-25 minutes longer than stated, covering the cake with tin foil to make sure it didn’t burn on top towards the end. I left it to cool overnight then quickly decorated it the next morning. It looked a bit of a mess, but, to be honest, the taste far surpassed the cake’s appearance!

Double chocolate loaf cakeThe cake was deliciously moist, dense and – of course – packed with chocolate flavour. Adding all the extra chocolate didn’t do any harm at all. In fact, I suspect it would have been rather dull if I hadn’t gone overboard! My brother was very pleased with the cake, to the extent that he refused to let my mum give some to her friends. Ha!

The recipe

On the BBC Good Food website here: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/694633/double-chocolate-loaf-cake