The first time I had Três Lêches (three milk) cake I thought I had died and gone to heaven (it happens to me a lot). I simply had to have myself a couple of more helpings. Then one day I decided to go ahead and try it out for a party. It was a super success. I then made a chocolate version which everyone loved more than the regular Três Lêches. Recently I decided to try a mango version seeing that mangoes are coming back into season – with some wonderful yummy mangoes that I got at the local H-Mart. I ended up just eating the mangoes but used mango purée for the cake.
There are a variety of mangoes that you can get. Here in the US the Mexican Kent mangoes are really good. You have to wait until the mango has started to yellow (the process can be quickened by keeping them with bananas). They will have a little give when pressed and have a fragrant aroma then you know they are ready. You can slice the mango from the top to the bottom on both sides of the very large seed that it has. At this point I normally like just spooning the juicy sweet flesh straight into my mouth. For a nice presentation you can scour the flesh into cubes and then use a spoon to scoop out the cubes. Alternatively you can use a peeler to peel the skin and then scour the flesh.
For the cake
- 6 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
For the soaking syrup
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup mango purée
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- dark rum
For the mango mousse
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 12 tablespoons mango purée
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Whip the eggs, sugar, and salt until tripled in volume. This will take a little time. It took me about 9 mins in my kitchenaid. You will get a lovely light lemon colored thick batter. Detach the mixing bowl from the stand (if you are using a kitchenaid mixer) and sift the cup of flour over the batter. Then fold it in. Make sure it is completely folded in.
Butter a 9×13 glass dish and then pour in your batter. Bake for 25 mins (that was how long it took in my oven). You can do the toothpick test here – it should come out clean. Wait for about 5 mins and then start pricking it all over either with the toothpick or to go faster with a fork. You need to get a lot of holes.
In a big measuring cup (the Pyrex variety – you can use any container here I like the pouring lip) mix the milks, the mango purée, the vanilla extract and rum. Pour over the cake starting at one end and ending at the other. Wait a few mins till the milk is absorbed and repeat. Do this until you have all the liquid poured into the cake.
Wait until the pan cools completely and then you can put it into the refrigerator.
To make the mango mousse
Whip the heavy cream and as it starts to increase in volume slowly add the granulated sugar. Whip it until it forms stiff peaks. At this stage you can add two tablespoons of mango purée and fold in. Continue adding and folding the mango purée. You can add more or less purée (depending on how mangoey you want it to taste go ahead be experimental!!). Spread this on top of the cold cake and refrigerate.
You can serve this with fresh mango slices or all by itself.