Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tres por Cinqo: Tres Leche Cupcakes

I figure with all the days I bring baked goods to work for no reason, any possible excuse warrants doing it for a reason and therefor baking something for cinqo de mayo was a given. I wanted to let the occasion inspire me, so I decided on tres leches.

I didn't really want to do a cake though, I wanted to do cupcakes, so I decided to try individual sizing the recipe.

I'm not going to lie, it is a little more work then doing a full size cake. The cupcakes also came out a bit less milk soaked, although that could have been remedied with more patience/effort. No one would describe what I produced as dry though, and one co-worker mentioned that they appreciated a little less soaking because she finds tres leches to often come out too soggy. I guess it's a matter of taste.

All that really matters is that I was happy with how these turned out; tasty AND pretty.

Tres Leches Cupcakes
(Adapted from The Pioneer Women)

1 cup All-purpose Flour
1-1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
5 Eggs, separated
1 cup Sugar, divided
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/3 cup Milk

Tres Leche Mix:
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/4 cup Heavy Cream

Whipped Cream Icing:
1 pint Heavy Cream
3 Tabelspoons Sugar
1 splash Vanilla
4 Tablespoons juice from cherries

Approx 30 Maraschino Cherries

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

Beat egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar until the mixture turns light yellow. Add milk and vanilla.

Combine egg yolk mixture with dry flour mixture, stirring gently just until combined.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then add final ¼ cup of sugar and continue beating until egg whites are stiff.

Fold beaten egg whites gently into the batter with egg yolks just until combined.

Thoroughly spray cupcake pans. Fill each cup about half way with batter. It is best to work quickly, because the batter will start to fall. I had good luck with my first 3 pans (I can only bake 1 pan at a time in my oven.)

Bake 8-10 minutes, until tops turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Wait about 5 minutes, then gently remove cupcakes from the pan. I used a fork the pull the cake away from the pan around the edges then they came out fine.

Allow cupcakes to cool completely. Then combine evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and ¼ cup heavy cream in a bowl. Whisk to combine thoroughly.

Cut waxed paper or parchment paper into squares. Put the cupcakes back into the muffin pan upside down in the squares. This will work better then muffin cups because the paper will be loose around the edges allowing the milk mixture to drip down the sides and be better absorbed by more of the cake.

Poke each cupcake with a fork 2 or 3 times.

Pour milk mixture over the upside down cupcakes, about 1 teaspoon at a time. Go thru the whole batch and then start again, repeat several times. At first the milk will pool on top but will be soaked in when you start again. It is amazing how much liquid this cake can hold!

I started by focusing on the tops and after 2 or 3 times I started letting some of the liquid drip down the sides. I repeated about 6 or 7 times. Continue repeating until the cakes seem thoroughly soaked and the sides of the cake are moist and sticky after rested a bit to absorb the liquid.

Let the cakes sit about 30 minutes. In the meantime beat the remaining pint of heavy cream with 3 Tablespoons sugar. (Honestly, this makes way too much whipped cream, but I made the whole recipe because I wasn't sure how much to use.)

When soft peaks form, add a splash of vanilla and juice from maraschino cherries. I was hoping to flavor the whipped cream with the cherry juice, but it wasn't as strong as I hoped and didn't soften the whipped cream, so add even more if you want a stronger flavor.

Continue beating until firm peaks form. I went a bit past standard whipped cream.

After cakes have been sitting for 30 minutes, top with whipped cream and a cherry. Store in the fridge. 

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