Latin Thanksgiving Dessert

If you’re looking to serve something special this Thanksgiving, try your hand at the “Cuatro Leches” dessert. It’s a lovely interpretation of the classic “Tres Leches” treat renowned throughout South America. In this version, the fourth milk comes from “dulce de leche”, a milk caramel spread popular in Argentina (I buy mine at Eli’s Vinegar Factory, but think you can also find it at Zabar’s or other gourmet food shops). I’ve made this recipe over and over again and always get rave reviews. I plan to make it in a few days for the holiday. Try it out too!

Pastel de Cuatro Leches

2 tsp. butter
1 tbsp. plus 2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1⁄2 tsp. fine salt
6 eggs, at room temperature, separated
1 1⁄4 cups sugar
1 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 16-oz. jar dulce de leche (milk caramel)

1. Heat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9″ × 13″ baking pan with the butter and dust with 1 tbsp. of the flour. Invert the dish, tap out the excess flour, and set aside.

2. Sift the remaining flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside. Put the egg whites into a large bowl and beat with a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. 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 1/2 cup of 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 remaining milk 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. Spread the dulce de leche across the top of the cake and serve.

This article has been adapted from Saveur magazine’s Issue #108, find the original recipe here

4 Responses to Latin Thanksgiving Dessert

  1. There’s a wealth of information here. Thanks! I’ll be back for more.

  2. Hello everyone, it’s Thanksgiving Day! I’m enjoying my extra day off, and I am planning to make something fun that will probably involve a moto trip and seeing something new in Griffin I haven’t seen yet.
    You write new post at Thanksgiving?

  3. Erica says:

    This cake sounds absolutely delicious…..I love the rum 🙂

  4. Elisa says:

    This is one of my favorite cakes. There are so many good recipes here. I’ll be back for more!

    Saludos,
    A Mexican chica living in Europe

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