When I first tasted Tres Leches I was tickled pink with delight. It was an actual OMG moment. So I hunted around for recipes and finally make one. It was a hit. Well if you think about it you are getting the most moist (well actually flooded with liquid) cake with an amazing topping (not buttercream).
Being the chocolate lover that I am I decided to make a chocolate version of it. A chocolaty cake, with chocolate syrup and topped with a chocolate topping. Yes, its about dying and going to heaven. Now that was a hit that it was everyone’s favorite. It was the most requested cake at the office. It did help that it also had a nice swig of alcohol. The alcohol is totally optional and I have used rum, brandy and liqueur (grand mariner).
This I think has been the absolute best version ever. I made it when one of my dear friends was leaving Atlanta for good. He is the one who did the website design for me. I will miss you, but then you know Atlanta is just a flight away :-). This is what he asked for and the request was to make it with Dark chocolate. He said it was the best one ever.
I have also given options for a cheat version of using a devil’s food cake mix. This is if you just want to throw something quickly. I have also used Dark Chocolate for the mousse, feel free to substitute a milk chocolate.
- 9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (optional – I did not use it)
- 1½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
- ½ cup strong espresso (2 teaspoons espresso)
- ½ cup whole milk
- OR Use a Devil’s food cake mix
for the Tres Leches
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup (Hershey’s)
- 1/4 cup brandy (optional)
for the Chocolate Mousse Frosting (Contains raw eggs – see Note below for alternate)
- 7 ounces chocolate chips (dark chocolate at least 60% cocoa)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons Brandy (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whipped (use less if you want a thicker mousse)
for the cake
If you are using the Food cake mix, bake the cake according to the package instructions for a 13 x 9 pan. Let if cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake pan and use a toothpick to poke (a fair number of) holes in the cake. Then pour in the Tres Leches.
Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. It took me about 10 minutes as my butter (even though it was sitting out for a good two hours) was still fairly cold. If your paddle attachment does not have a scraper, make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well (and scraping) after each addition.
Add half the flour mixture into the bowl and use the mixer on low to incorporate. Add the wet ingredients and stir with a spatula, and once incorporated use the mixer again. Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated.
Bake for about 25-30 mins until a toothpick pierced into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool on the rack for about 10 mins. Using a toothpick prick the cake all over. Using a butter knife, run it around the sides of the cake to release it from the pan.
Make the Tres Leches milk mixture and then pour over the cake, ladle by ladle making sure that you are distributing it equally over the cake and sides. Let each pouring be absorbed before you pour the next one. Let the cake cool completely.
for the Chocolate Mousse
In a glass bowl add the chocolate and 1/4 cup heavy cream and heat in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Let the mixture sit for about 30 seconds and then stir mixture to combine. If all the chocolate does not melt then repeat process in the microwave for short bursts. Set aside to cool.
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale yellow and has doubled in volume. This will take a little time, so be patient. Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture and stir till well combined. Add the Brandy and stir to combine.
Beat the remaining heavy cream in the electric mixer on medium speed until you see it start to thicken. Add a teaspoon of sugar and increase the speed to high, beat until the cream just reaches the stiff peak stage. Gently fold in the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, folding until thoroughly incorporated. Put it over the cooled cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Eggless chocolate mousse topping
Heat 1 cup cream to boiling. Add 8 oz of chocolate and let it rest for about a minute. Then stir to incorporate. Add 1 tablespoon of your favorite brandy/liqueur. Whip 1 cup of heavy cream and fold into the chocolate mixture.