Posted on May 24 2012

Tartine Baking Project: #59 Pastel de Tres Leches

This cake has been something that I’ve been so nervous to tackle.  It’s one of the most popular cakes at Tartine, and has always seemed something beyond me.  But, it’s in the cookbook, and so it’s a must.  It translates to “three milks cake” and rightly so, it includes coconut milk, whole milk, and heavy cream.  It’s so rich, and quite subtle at the same time – does that even make sense?  Out of all the cakes I’ve made (ever, in my lifetime), this one is my favorite.  FAVORITE, I tell you!

Another favorite of mine?  I’ve always loved drawing letters.  I used to make up “letter sets” growing up, that’s what I called them.  I was doodling on Jack’s chalkboard and it made sense to include my doodles in today’s post!

I often gravitate toward a lot of neutrals in my wardrobe, but my bright green polka dot shirt and the brilliant yellow yolks were quite a perfect combination!  Oh, and I am totally in love with coconut milk.  I want to include it in everything, or at least find more things to appropriately include it in.

Just a side note here, I could (and probably should) have this photo of pastry cream framed.  Not that it’s an AMAZING photo or anything, I just love pastry cream so much, I’d like to honor it with a spot on a wall somewhere.  Probably in the kitchen, that would make the most sense.

Since we were about to partake in a most delicious cake, I decided to make a little themed dinner.  Fish tacos and Coronas seemed rather fitting (and light since we were about to partake is come serious dessert.)

As for the final assembly, this guy is definitely not breaking any records for the prettiest cake.  My friend Kendrah had a birthday, and this was a perfect way to celebrate!  When we got here, I stepped away from my cream as it was whipping, and it definitely whipped a bit longer than I would have liked.  Oh well.  AND!  I shot the wrong side of the cake.  This was the ugly, wonky side.  The layers on the other side were much more neat and photogenic.  But everyone was here and I was just so very excited!  Oh well.  It was delicious!  Did I mention it’s my favorite?

  1. Megan says:

    This cake looks so delicious, and I love your flags! AND your chalkboard writing skills are serious. This is just a good post all around! <3

  2. NicoleD says:

    Wow! I love a good tres leches cake, but I’ve never had one with pastry cream, yummm. Your hand-drawn letters are seriously cute and impressive. I try to write in special letters on birthday cards, but they never look like yours. Cute flags, cute letters, cute cake, cute shirt, cute everything!

  3. cindy says:

    I’ve never ever even tried to make a Tres Leches cake. Even if you did photograph the wonky side, it’s still so pretty! PS, I love word-doodling on my chalkboard too, makes me feel artsy or something :)

  4. kendrah says:

    this cake was delicious and beautiful! i know- i ate it :)
    made this birthday girl happy!

  5. Amy D. says:

    I’m thinking about making this for Ana’s birthday celebration. It seems like a risky starting point, but I just can’t resist! We will see. :)

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