One of my favorite cakes of all time is Cafe Latte's Turtle Cake. You know the one--a rich chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache, caramel sauce, and plenty of toasted pecans. Cafe Latte is located in St. Paul, MN., and I have been lucky enough to have had the original Turtle Cake. To. Die. For. What's really cool, is that everyone can make this Turtle Cake at home, since Cafe Latte shared the recipe with the public several years ago. I'll admit it--it was my favorite cake--until I met Cafe Latte's Tres Leches Cake.....
My favorite cake--until I met the Tres Leches Cake...
The other day, I did another quick search of the Internet for the recipe and there it was! The caption definitely made reference to Cafe Latte, but on closer inspection, the recipe actually came from someone named Joe. Now, whether Joe really had his hands on Cafe Latte's recipe (could Joe, or Joe's wife, be an employee?), I don't know. I do know that whoever wrote down the ingredients must have halved the recipe. It was all good though-- and with a little tweaking--dare I say it?--I made a Cafe Latte Tres Leches Cake!
Tres Leches Cake (inspired by Cafe Latte, adapted from Joe's Email)
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 of a (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Raspberries or Sugared Cranberries for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.; grease and flour an 8 inch cake pan (using an 8" rather than a 9" pan will make it easier to split in half).
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Slowly add the buttermilk, mixing until well blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and cool for at least ten minutes before removing from pan. Carefully, cut the cake in half, horizontally. Place each half sliced side up on a rack to cool completely. While the cake is cooling, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and the half/half. Slowly pour the liquid over each half of the cake. Cover and chill for several hours.
When ready to assemble the cake, whip the cream until stiff, adding the powdered sugar. Place one of the cake halves on a serving plate, cut side up. Spread whipped cream over the top of the cake layer, and then top with the second cake half. Frost the top and the sides of the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Garnish with raspberries or sugared cranberries, if desired.
Can you believe how easy this is? Just whip up the cake in a large bowl....
You can see from the indent that I used one of those pans with the whatchamacallit scrape thing on the bottom. It made getting the cake out in one piece really easy.
Don't the cranberries make it look all holiday-like?
Making the sugared cranberries is a piece of cake. HeHe. Simply bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a simmer (make sure the sugar is dissolved, but don't boil...simmer). Place 1-2 cups of fresh cranberries in a bowl. Pour the hot sugar/water over the cranberries. Cover and chill for several hours or overnight.
When the cranberries are chilled, drain the liquid (save it, if you use simple syrup in your drinks), and roll the cranberries in fine sugar. Let them dry on a cookie sheet for at least one hour.
Store extra cranberries in an airtight container.
Yes, I believe the code has been cracked.
Now take a look at what everyone else is making! :)