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Jan 17, 2007 10:00 PM

Tres Leches w/ alcohol

I'm thinking of making a Tres Leches with some sort of liquor, probably bailey's or the like. Any tips?

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  1. I assume you are making cake. I usually add the booze to the leches part and go sparingly as the cake absorbs a lot of the moisture. The cake keeps for several days. Unless you want to get tipsy on cake (not a bad thing though) I'd say go sparingly on the booze. I have also spiked the whipped cream ftrosting instead of the leches part during the summer months and served the cake with berries. My dream birthday cake would be to have both the leches and the whipped cream frosting spiked w/ Kahlua. In the past I've used rum or Grand Marnier. I think Bailey's would be tasty too.

    1. The traditional liqueur used in the Pastel de Tres Leches is Rompope from Mexico. Flavored rum would also be a nice touch. Buena suerte con su pastel!

      14 Replies
        1. re: la vida dulce

          what proportions do I use. Just douse it in rompope (this is for an alcoholic dessert party, so excess isn't a bad thing) or do I just add an equal portion to the three other milks?

          1. re: amkirkland

            Are you wanting to subistitute one of the milks w/booze? It could work with a cream based liquor. If not, I used about 1/3 c. alcohol. Either way ths recipe might give you the proportions you need:


            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

              i guess my question was SHOULD I sub one of the milks w/ booze. It's funny you sent that, because I ended up at that site earlier today. Thanks.

              1. re: amkirkland

                If it is an alcholic dessert theme party then you should stick to theme as close as you can :) I think it would almost be the same amount of liquor as one of the milks because the recipe calls for half a can each of condensed and evaporated milks. The next question is which milk do you want to forgo? I'd forgo the condensed milk because it is the sweeter of the two and the Rompope or Bailey's sounds like they'd be sweet enough.

                I introduced a coworker to Tres Leches Cake and we ended up having a the summer of Tres Leches Cakes. We tested several recipes and the link to Texas Cooking was our favorite. Rick Bayless also has a Tres Leches Cake on his web site that looks good too.

                  1. re: amkirkland

                    I made one for DH's birthday the year before last. The first day you could tell there was booze in it but it was not significant. The second and third day it was pleasantly boozey. Are you making the cake the day of the party or are you going to let the cake.. uhm... cure over a couple of days?

                    1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                      My plan was to let it "cure" for a day, but work has taken precedence over alcoholic cakes. I ended up getting a bottle of amarula that I'm going to use. Thanks for the tip (btw, i'm interpreting your comment as a tip to slightly over booze it since i won't have as much time)

                      1. re: amkirkland

                        If it can't cure then I would definitely up the booze and even spike the whipped cream.

                  2. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                    I love the sound of that Bayless recipe, but someone (Eat_Nopales?) posted that it doesn't work at all.

                    1. re: julesrules

                      I am glad I didn't try it. In our research we found that it is a very simple cake, IIRC, the Bayless cake seemed a little too over the top for our needs. Both of us wanted a nice yet unusual cake to serve with summer fruits. I also consulted a coworker whose family sells Tres Leches cakes at the family bakery so I came to appreciate the more basic interpretation of the cake.

                1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                  That's a very good recipe. I followed the cake recipe to the letter except that I added some almond extract. For the "tres leches" I actually used amarula cream liqueur and evaporated milk. It wasn't as strong as I wanted so I added about 1/4 cup rum. If I did it again I'd go with only the cream liqueur. The intention ws to make something with a strong flavor though. You're not gonna get a buzz off it, but it was strong.

                  1. re: amkirkland

                    Yum, almond extract sounds like the perfect addition. Thanks for reporting back.

                    1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                      I spiked the whipped cream too, forgot about that.

            2. Yes, most supermarkets or larger liquor stores carry Rompope. Tastes like a rich eggnog.

              2 Replies
              1. re: la vida dulce

                Look for rompope Santa Clara--it's the best of the 'store-bought' brands. And it's already 13% alcohol!

                1. re: cristina

                  Thanks! My dog's birthday is coming up, I guess I have a justifiable reason for making the cake and trying rompope. Poochie will have to settle for a different treat.

              2. This is my tres leches cake recipe, which has worked very well. It involves rum, as you can see below, and it was definitely apparent to those who ate it, but I think you could easily double the rum while leaving everything else exactly the same to no ill effect.

                6 large eggs, separated
                2 cups sugar
                2 cups all-purpose flour + 2 teaspoons baking powder
                1/2 cup skim milk
                Cream topping:
                1 14-ounce can evaporated milk
                2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
                1 cup 1⁄2 & 1⁄2
                1⁄2 cup rum
                Whipped cream

                To make dulce de leche topping, if desired:
                Start a pot of water boiling and when it starts to roll, peel the label of one can of sweetened condensed milk off, and place the bare can in the water. Keep it boiling for 3 hours, adding water as necessary. At 3 hours take it off the burner and let it cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

                Meanwhile, make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

                Lightly grease a pan.

                Use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites on low speed to soft peaks, then slowly add sugar and beat to stiff peaks, then add yolks one at a time, beating after each.

                Add in flour/baking powder, alternating with milk, working expediently. Bake until golden, 25 minutes in a good oven or 45 in mine.

                To make the tres leches topping: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, 1/2 & 1/2 and rum and blend on high speed.

                Remove the cake from the oven and while still warm, pour the cream mixture over it. Personally I usually only pour as much as it seems like it will hold, and then I wait a few minutes and pour on more. But the liquids need to be poured on while the cake is still hot. Let sit and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

                Before serving, drizzle everywhere with dulce de leche and top with whipped cream (leches quatro y cinco).