Ravneet Gill’s tres leches cake with strawberries – recipe

<span>Ravneet Gill’s tres leches cake and strawberries.</span><span>Photograph: Laura Edwards/The Guardian. Food styling: Benjamina Ebuehi. Prop styling: Anna Wilkins. Food styling assistant: Lara Cook.</span>
Ravneet Gill’s tres leches cake and strawberries.Photograph: Laura Edwards/The Guardian. Food styling: Benjamina Ebuehi. Prop styling: Anna Wilkins. Food styling assistant: Lara Cook.

A tres leches cake during the summer is a delight. For a cake made of three milks – evaporated, condensed and fresh whole – this Latin American classic is surprisingly refreshing. Whenever I crave it, my mind wanders to my friend Terri Mercieca’s [founder of Happy Endings] creation: the tres leches ice-cream sandwich. Picture a delicate yellow sponge cake embracing layers of ice-cream and decadent dulce de leche. It’s a knockout quick fix! Or for a bit more of a project, make today’s recipe.

Tres leches cake and strawberries

Prep 25 min
Cook 30 min
Chill 4 hr+
Serves 8-10

For the sponge
4 eggs
A large pinch of salt
150g caster sugar
130g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g unsalted butter

For the milk mixture
410ml tin evaporated milk
200g condensed milk, plus 60g for the topping
whole milk

For the topping
300ml double cream
250g strawberries,
hulled and halved

Heat the oven to 195C (175C fan)/380F/gas 5½. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a large bowl with an electric whisk, beat the eggs, salt and sugar until pale, thick and fluffy – about 15 minutes at a medium speed.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder, then melt the butter.

In three stages, sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture and gently fold in until there are no lumps. Drizzle the melted butter into the bowl in three stages, mixing after each addition.

Pour the batter into a 18cm x 28cm x 5cm tin (no need to grease or line) and spread it out evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely. Once the cake is cool, whisk the evaporated, condensed, and whole milks in a saucepan until well combined. Heat until steaming, then remove from the heat. Poke holes all over the surface of the cake using a skewer or fork. Then, while the milk is still warm, slowly pour it over the cake, allowing it to soak into the holes. Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least four hours, or ideally overnight, so that it can fully absorb the milk. To make the topping, whip the double cream and condensed milk in a mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Once the cake is chilled, spread the whipped cream evenly over the top. Arrange the strawberries on top, then serve the cake chilled.

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