|CUATRA LECHES VANILLA MANTECADO CAKE RECIPE
I. VANILLA MANTECADA CAKE
Makes 2, 8-inch sponge cakes
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
8-inch parchment paper liner
1. Position oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch, preferably light colored, heavy NOT nonstick pans. Place greased parchment paper in the bottom of each pan. (If you use dark, nonstick baking pans or ovenproof, Pyrex glass pans, be sure to reduce the oven heat by 25 degrees F).
After measuring, sift flour, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl and set aside. Add the vanilla extract to the milk and set aside.
2. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, on low until softened. (If the butter is cold, it will warm quickly from the beaters - taking about 60 seconds). Add the sugar in a steady stream at the side of the bowl. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes until light yellow and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.
With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time and beat for 20 seconds after each addition. After the eggs have been added, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the mixture for 2 minutes. (If the eggs are cold, the batter will curdle slightly. It's ok. It will come together as the batter warms from the beaters. ) Set the kitchen timer to help you keep track of the time. The mixture will become fluffy and aerated.
3. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in 3 equal portions, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 equal portions, beginning and ending with the flour. (If the milk is cold, the batter will curdle slightly. It's ok. It will come together when you add the flour.)
Add the flour and liquid ingredients in increments quickly; do not wait in between additions too long as you don't want to overmix the batter.
After completing the last addition of flour, stop the mixer, and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula. Then, let the mixer run for 30 seconds on LOW. STOP the mixer. Do NOT overmix.
4. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared panx. Bake for 55 to 70 minutes until the center of the cakes feels firm when lightly touched in the center. The cakes will also smell done. Remove cakes to cool on wire rack to cool in their pans.
II. DULCE DE LECHE
Makes 1 cup
Homemade dulce de leche is traditionally used as a filling for cakes, to line pie shells later filled with sweet custard, and as a topping for fresh fruit. You can make your own, or buy premade Dulce de Leche from the grocery store, gourmet food stores or from Mexican food markets. Discussion about.
The following dulce de leche recipe is made in the traditional manner, beginning with whole milk and sugar. Although the cooking time is about two hours, this dulce de leche virtually cooks itself, requiring only minimal attention. The result is well worth the lengthy cooking time. In fact, dulce de leche is so tempting that you may find it hard to resist a spoonful straight from the pan.
1 quart whole or 2% milk (do not use 1% or skim milk)
1 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking soda
2 Tbsp Water
Place the milk and sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, while heating the milk to a gentle simmer. The milk will begin to form a foamy layer across the surface and around the perimeter of the pan. Stir the mixture gently to incorporate.
Dissolve the baking soda in the water. Stir the baking soda mixture into the milk mixture. Reduce the heat to low and cook the mixture uncovered at a low simmer, just so the milk's surface breaks with a gentle roll.
Check the mixture periodically and gently stir without incorporating the foamy layer that forms across the surface.
After the mixture has been simmering for 1 hour, the milk mixture will begin to turn a light tan color. Continue simmering until the mixture reduces to the thickness of sweetened condensed milk, takes on a rich tan color and has reduced to about one cup, about 1 to 1-1/2 additional hours. The mixture will thicken further as it cools and under refrigeration.
Strain the mixture immediately into a jar, using a fine mesh strainer. Cool completely. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Adapted from The Culinary Institute of America's Baking and Pastry, Mastering the Art and Craft
III. THREE LECHES SAUCE
2 cups evaporated milk
2 cups condensed milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1. Whisk all ingredients together and cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
IV. AREQUIPE SAUCE
1 cup dulce de leche (see II)
1/2 cup warmed whole or 2% milk
1. Whisk all ingredients and refrigerate until well chilled.
V. CARAMELIZED MERINGUE
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces water (1/2 cup)
1. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, fitted with a candy thermometer, bring water and sugar to a softball temperature, 240 degrees F.
2. In a mixer bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
3. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly add the sugar syrup at the side of the bowl. Once all is incorporated, increase the mixer speed to high, add lemon juice and vanilla and beat until hard peaks form.
1, 8-inch baked and cooled I. VANILLA MANTECADA CAKE
1 cup, III. THREE LECHES SAUCE
3/4 cup, IV. AREQUIPE SAUCE
1 recipe, V. CARAMELIZED MERINGUE
1/2 cup powdered sugar, or more, for dusting
Blow torch assembly, pastry brush, knife, sifter, spatula, three 8-inch cardboard cake round, cake platter
1. Turn cakes from their pans, each onto a cardboard cake round and carefully peel the parchment paper from the bottom of each.
2. Tort (slice) each cake into two even layers. Place the cut layers on a cardboard cake round. Remember which top layer belongs to its bottom layer. Pierce each layer all over with the tines of a fork.
3. With a pastry brush, brush each bottom layer with 6-ounces of III. THREE LECHES SAUCE. Place its matching top layer on top. Brush the top of each top layer with 6-ounces of III. THREE LECHES SAUCE. Stack one set of torted layers on top of another. You will end up with four, stacked layers.
4. Ice the cake with V. CARAMELIZED MERINGUE, 1/2-inch thick. Finsih the cake with peaks or a design.
5. Torch the meringue until light golden brown, taking care not to burn it.
6. Drizzle cake with IV. AREQUIPE SAUCE and dust with powdered sugar