June 6, 2010

Coconut Tres Leches Cake

I think I'm going to start doing a recipe of the week and recipe of the weekend.  I always try to bake a new thing on the weekend and try more savory dishes during the week.  Yesterday I made a coconut tres leches cake that I found on another favorite food blog, My Kitchen Cafe.  I love coconut and tres leches cake, so I had to try this one.  It was super easy except for one ingredient (which is now super easy because I know where to find it).  What I liked about this cake is that it wasn't killer sweet.  Rick loved it and when he loves a sweet dessert, that means it's seriously good because he's not big on overly sweet things. 

The ingredient that I had trouble finding was coconut CREAM.  I was looking in the wrong section of the grocery store.  I was looking where they sold coconut milk and they are DIFFERENT things.  You will find coconut cream by the drink mixes...margarita mixes, daiquiri mixes, etc.  You can't substitute coconut milk for the coconut cream.  Another quick pointer is that it HAS to be refrigerated for at least 2-3 hours before eating.  This helps all the milk syrup soak in.  The sweetened cream (or Cool Whip if you don't want to make homemade) and coconut is a must!  Hope you enjoy and let me know if you try it!

*Serves 12-16
Make-ahead Yellow Cake Mix or other preferred cake mix or homemade yellow cake recipe

Milk Syrup:

1 can (15 ounces) cream of coconut
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


2 medium-size ripe bananas (we didn't do the bananas, but I'm sure they would be good)
Sweetened cream (see instructions below)

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted (spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake it at 350 degrees until golden brown, 7 minutes, or toast it in a skillet over medium-low heat on the stove top)

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spray a 9X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set the baking dish aside. Place the make-ahead cake mix, 1 1/4 cups warm water and 2 large room-temperature eggs in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes (if using another cake mix or recipe, bake according to box or recipe instructions). Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake until it is lightly golden and is slightly pulling away from the edges, 30-34 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool completely, 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the milk syrup: in a blender, combine the cream of coconut, evaporated milk, cream, and vanilla and process until smooth. 

Pierce the cooled cake all over the top with the tines of a fork or a thin wooden skewer. We are talking all over! The more pokes, the more the syrup will soak into the cake. Using a large spoon or ladle, spoon some of the milk syrup over the cake. Let the syrup soak into the cake, then continue spooning the syrup on top until all of it has been used up. When you have finished, not all of the syrup will be completely absorbed and might be pooling on the top but that’s ok because it will absorb as it refrigerates. Cover the cake loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until all of the syrup is absorbed, 2 hours. Cut the bananas, if using crosswise into ¼-inch slices. Slice the cake and serve it with sliced bananas, sweetened cream and toasted coconut, if desired.

Sweetened Cream:

Pour 1 cup heavy whipping cream into a large (preferably chilled) glass bowl and beat it on high speed until thickened 1 ½ minutes. Stop the machine and add ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Makes 2 cups.



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