Thursday, February 28, 2008


When I was a kid, my favorite books were of the Harriet the Spy series. I devoured those books and I adored how Harriet had a live-in cook, aptly named "Cook." Well, as the story goes, Harriet would finish up a busy day of school with a little detective work sprinkled in throughout her day and arrive at home to enjoy a fresh slice of homemade cake accompanied by a big, tall glass of milk. My fictional hero, Harriet, had the life, didn't she?! Anyhow, back to the matter at hand. It's time for a recipe. I've posted about a cake, one which I think Harriet would have rather enjoyed. I found this recipe here. It's called dulce de leche cake. I certainly don't mean to quibble, but it seems to me that this is more of a tres leche cake with dulce de leche frosting. I followed the recipe as is for the cake, but decided to change it up for the frosting. I cooked a can of sweetened condensed milk in the manner described by David Lebovitz here, then, blended the dulce de leche with butter to make a faux buttercream frosting. But back to the cake. I had serious doubts about this cake because it seemed like a soggy mess after I drenched it with the three milk concoction. But, after the requisite 4 hour chill time, the cake had a texture unlike any I'd tasted before. It was dense, yet delicate (I think the whipped egg whites are responsible for the lightness). It was very moist with a tender crumb. I think it was a success, except for one part: the frosting. I must have undercooked my sweetened condensed milk for the frosting. The websites's beautiful picture shows a deep, dark caramel frosting, and mine turned out more the color of very lightly toasted bread. So next time, I'll cook the sweetened condensed milk longer and perhaps I'll be rewarded with that gorgeous caramel colored frosting. You should try this cake, too; it's fairly easy to make and it tastes even better the next day.

Dulce de Leche Cake
Saveur Magazine, Issue #108

Makes one 9x13 cake


2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 1⁄2 tsp. fine salt6 eggs, at room temperature, separated

1 1⁄4 cups sugar

1⁄2 cup whole milk

1 1⁄2 tbsp. dark rum

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 12-oz. can evaporated milk

1 cup heavy cream


1. Put the oven rack in the center of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°. Generously butter and flour a 9" × 13" baking pan. Set dish aside.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside. Put the egg whites into the bowl of a standing mixer and beat with the wire whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form. While the mixer is still running, add the sugar in a gradual stream and continue beating again to soft peaks. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add the reserved flour mixture and the whole milk in 3 parts, beating until smooth after each addition. Add the rum and vanilla and beat again briefly until smooth.
3. Pour batter into reserved baking pan and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Set the cake aside and let cool slightly for 30 minutes.
4. Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a bowl. Using a knife, poke the cake with holes all over, penetrating to the bottom of the pan. Pour the milk mixture over the warm cake and set aside to let cool completely.
5. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled and liquid is absorbed, at least 4 hours.

For Frosting:

I made dulce de leche following the method described by David Lebovitz. After the dulce de leche cooled, I mixed approximately 1/2 of it with 2 sticks of butter in a standing mixer using the paddle attachment. It took a very long time to come together, but it eventually did and I used this to frost my cake. The original recipe calls for spreading jarred dulce de leche on top of your finished cake.


Anonymous said...

I agree about cooking the dulce de leche. Last time I had to cook mine for 90 minutes to get the deep caramel color. The cake looks yummy!

Shirlie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Yoooooooooooooo!, dat cake looks off da chain! I tried summa dat Dulce de Yuknow stuff befo, but I can tell ya'll that it ain't neva looked so sukulently like dat do. Is dat picha photo shopped or suntin'? Ima get me summa dat reeeeeel quick. Where I can I find dat in da stores?

n-diggity said...

damn shirlu, maybe you can come be a pastry chef here at the cafes, then i would heat Dulce de leche every day! was that gangsta comment from david?

n-diggity said...

oops i meant 'eat', not "heat"