Torta de Tres Leches de Café

This dreamy, creamy, coffee-infused dessert was developed for a recent cooking class at Border Grill Downtown LA and features the Border Grill Espresso Roast created by LAMILL Coffee. Recently named one of the top 10 boutique coffeehouses in the country by Bon Appetit magazine, LAMILL Coffee has long been considered one of the country’s premiere artisan coffee roasters by leading restaurants from coast to coast.

Tres Leches de Café:
2 1/2 cups Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk (see recipe below), chilled
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 to 2 cups strong, freshly brewed espresso*, to taste

6 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups cake flour

Whipped Cream (see recipe below), for serving
Chocolate Sauce (see recipe below), for serving

Combine Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk. Add espresso to taste and reserve in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10-inch round, 3-inch deep cake pan and line bottom with a parchment paper round.

Place eggs, vanilla, salt, and sugar into a 5-quart mixer bowl. Place bottom of mixer bowl directly into a larger bowl of very hot tap water and whisk egg mixture until quite warm to the touch. Remove mixer bowl from water and put on mixer with whip attachment. Beat at medium-high speed, for about 5 minutes, or until egg mixture quadruples in volume and becomes thick and light in color.

Meanwhile, using a sieve, sift flour twice then place back into the sieve. Remove bowl from mixer and sift flour for a third time into the whipped egg mixture in two stages while folding very gently yet thoroughly. Pour finished batter into the prepared cake pan and bake about 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and cake comes away from sides of pan slightly. Remove cake from oven and cool slightly. Carefully remove cake from pan and transfer to a rack to finish cooling, making sure the browned top of the cake is right side up.

When completely cooled, trim off the browned top, bottom, and side surfaces of the cake. Clean cake pan and line with two long, crisscrossed pieces of plastic wrap. Return trimmed cake to the pan and slowly pour Tres Leches de Café over the cake. Fold ends of plastic wrap over the top of the cake to enclose completely and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, unwrap cake and turn upside down onto a 10-inch plate with upturned edges to catch excess milk. Pipe whipped cream on top of cake and serve ice cold accompanied by Chocolate Sauce.

* Border Grill Espresso Roast by LAMILL Coffee available for purchase at Border Grill Downtown LA and Border Grill Santa Monica.

Homemade Condensed Milk

Makes 2 1/2 cups

2 1/2 cups nonfat milk
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Pour the milks into a medium heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the sugar and continue simmering until reduced to 2 1/2 cups. Strain into a container and refrigerate as long as a week.

Whipped Cream

Makes about 2 cups

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Combine cream and sugar in a cold mixing bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.

Chocolate Sauce

Makes about 2 cups

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rum
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Chop chocolate into small chunks and place in a bowl. Combine cream, vanilla, rum, and salt in a small saucepan and heat until scalding, stirring often. Pour hot cream mixture over chocolate and allow it to melt. Stir until smooth. Stir in butter and set aside to cool.

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© 2012 Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.  All rights reserved.