Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dariush!

Tres Leches Cake

DR and I both fell in love with the Tres Leches Cake at Cafe Latte on Grand Avenue as soon as we discovered it. Usually, we don't agree on desserts (he likes chocolate, I prefer vanilla - that kind of thing), but this cake is something we both adore equally. Two years ago, for Dariush's birthday, I picked us up two individual slices of cake from their bakery. One year ago, in a fit of overindulgence, I ordered him an entire cake, and we proceeded to polish off the whole thing between the two of us in roughly a week. This year, I decided it was about time I learned how to make it myself (and we brought it to a bar where we celebrated with friends and family, so we didn't have a reason to eat half a cake apiece).

My cake didn't turn out exactly like Cafe Latte's (seriously, if you live in the Twin Cities, you must try it - it is to die for)...but it was close enough to make me very, very happy. Tres leches cake (Spanish for "three milks") is exactly what it sounds like: a white sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk - condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cream. This may not sound like anything special, but I'm here to tell you that I've never had anything else quite like it. Tres leches cake is incredibly delicate, sweet, and moist. There are as many versions as there are ways to serve it: I chose a recipe from the esteemed King Arthur Flour, and elected to make a two-layer cake with a simple whipped cream frosting and fresh raspberries - just like the one we love so much at Cafe Latte. (Unfortunately, I only have pictures of the frosted cake before we sliced it - I forgot to take the camera to the bar, and we didn't take any leftovers home - lesson learned from last year: too much Tres Leches is not a good plan for the waistline). I wouldn't hesitate to do it this way again for a special occasion, but if you're looking for something a bit simpler, just keep the recipe amounts the same and bake it in a single layer in a 9x13 pan. This way, you can have this fantastic cake even when you don't have as much time to fuss around... ¡fabuloso!

Dariush, as most of you already know, is my lovely boyfriend. We first dated in high school, then took our own paths for a while, before finally ending up here...back together again. We've been in a relationship for 4 years now, and although it hasn't been smooth sailing all the way, we're pretty happy together. DR is the kindest, most gentle guy I know - and also one of the most social, easygoing, overall-fun-to-be-around (it's a nice contrast to the slightly obsessive, mildly controlling, slow-to-warm-up-to-new-people parts of my personality that are oh-so-charming). We make a good team, if I do say so myself, and I feel very, very lucky to be sharing my life with him. Here's to my dear, sweet Dariush...I'm looking forward to celebrating many more birthdays together.


Nicol said...

That looks yummy! I am looking forward to my phone ringing the next time you are making this!!! ;)

Elisabeth said...

You bet - I'm always happy to share with people who appreciate it, like yourself! How's that spaghetti pie coming? :)

Anonymous said...

This cake rocks! Not surprisingly, I got to take hiome the leftovers and ate them all the same night!

Elisabeth said...

Anna - you and DR's mom both (although I think she ate hers in the car on the way home)! I was kind of sad that we sent ALL the leftovers with you guys...I think I needed to try one more piece...just to make sure it was still good, you know. Purely research purposes.