Dudette started kindergarten two weeks ago. On her “syllabus,” we saw that she’d be learning the abc’s, her colors and how to count and recognize the numbers 1 through 10. While I understand the need to start kids off at that point, it’s going to be tough on Dudette (and her parents), because she went to preschool for the past two years.
In addition to that, our little dynamo has the absolute most curious and inquisitive mind. She is constantly in learning mode even if she doesn’t know it. Learn the abc’s? She’s already started in on beginner readers. Colors? Listen to her describing a pretty car that’s a nice shade of eggplant and you’ll see how far she’s come with colors. And numbers. She can count and recognize her numbers up to infinity and beyond (as I’m typing she’s up to 109….please make her stop).
Unfortunately, she also has a mom who is still learning to filter what she thinks before it comes out her mouth. One day last week I asked Dudette what she had learned in school. She rolled her eyes and said that they had gone through their numbers, 1 through 10.
My unfiltered response, unfortunately out loud, was, “If your teacher asks you to recite your numbers tomorrow, you ask her in which language she’d like them; English, Korean or Spanish.” You see, she learned to count to ten in English and Spanish while in preschool and can also count to ten in Korean because of Tae Kwon Do. I’m glad that we’re friends with her teacher because the woman knows that she’ll need to give Dudette a lot of grace on my behalf.
Of course, she is still a kindergartner. Seven out of ten times when she’s counting to ten in Spanish, what comes out is, “Uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinqo de mayo.” They celebrated Cinqo de Mayo in preschool so she remembers that one very clearly.
Now, she also has something with which to associate the number tres. Last night we discussed what tres leches means as we ate our Tres Leches Cake.
First, head out to the chicken coop and gather five, beautiful fresh eggs. I’m sorry, but I had to say that. I don’t talk much about our five ladies, but they do provide us with some gorgeous eggs (and lots of free entertainment). You do need five eggs, and you need to separate them, yolks in one big bowl and whites in another.
Grab the big egg yolk bowl and a hand mixer. Beat the yolks for five minutes or so, until they’re a nice lemony color. Then add sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. When those are well combined, add flour and baking powder. Set that bowl aside.
Wash off the beaters and head towards the egg whites. Beat them until soft peaks form. Add the rest of the sugar a tablespoon at a time. The “rest of the sugar” is a quarter cup, which is also four tablespoons. That makes it easier to know how to add it a tablespoon at a time.
When you have stiff peaks (minds out of the gutters, friends), gently fold the whites into the batter until fully combined. Pour the batter into a greased and floured pan and bake.
Not done yet; don’t relax. It’s time for the whole three milks thing. IN a saucepan, combine the milks; evaporated, condense and half-and-half. Let it come to a boil and stay there while you stir continuously for a couple of minutes. Take it off the heat and add the vanilla. It might bubble a little, which is ok. Just stir it in and let the milk sauce cool.
When the cake comes out, cut it in 15 pieces and poke holes in it with a skewer. I know I always say that there’s now what anyone can get 15 pieces out of dessert, but in this case you really can. Trust me.
Going by thirds, pour the milk sauce over the cake, letting it absorb before doing it again, and again. After the third pour, let the cake sit for 30 minutes, then cover and refrigerate. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream (after all, what’s a little more milk?).
Oh, just so you know, none of the milk products I used contained the word, “free,” in them. I believe in reduced, but not free. Fat free equals taste free in my book.5 eggs
Holy freakin’ cow. Why have I not had this cake before? It is rich and gooey and caramelly and wonderful. Dudette loved it. Hubby loved it. I loved it. We all wanted to have more than one piece but it’s just too much over the rich, goo and caramel.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I can’t think of a thing. But then, I’ve never had Tres Leches cake before so I don’t know what else to expect.
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 can (14 ounces) fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk
1 cup fat-free half-and-half
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
15 tablespoons frozen reduced-fat whipped topping
15 fresh strawberries
Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Coat a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish with cooking spray and dust with flour; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed for 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup sugar and butter. Stir in milk and vanilla. Sift flour and baking powder; gradually add to yolk mixture and mix well (batter will be thick).
With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold into batter.
Spread evenly into prepared dish. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Place on a wire rack.
In a large saucepan, combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk and half-and-half. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool slightly.
Cut cake into 15 pieces, leaving cake in the baking dish. Poke holes in cake with a skewer. Slowly pour a third of the milk syrup over cake, allowing syrup to absorb into the cake. Repeat twice. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Top each piece with whipped topping and a strawberry.