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Jun 7, 2013 08:17 AM

Tres Leches Cake -- Delessio vs. Tartine? [San Francisco]

Hi - I need to get a tres leches cake for my wife's b-day tomorrow, and I'm wondering which one to get. We've had the one from Delession before and have enjoyed it. The cake has a very nice, custardy texture but still is a cake, not a gloppy mess. My one critique is that it could have used more strawberries (we only tried the individual slice and it had one strawberry). We've also heard good things about Tartine's version, but I think it's pretty pricey. I'm wondering which the experts prefer?

PS - We've also thoroughly enjoyed the tres leches cake at Market Hall in Rockridge, but are city bound and can't make it over there to pick up.

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  1. The Tartine one is quite refined compared to others I've had---they don't soak the layers as much (which I like). It's like a nice, mild cake with cream. In fact I'm not sure I would recognize it as tres leches unless someone told me. I don't recall any fruit but it would be improved with really ripe olallieberries served with it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rubadubgdub

      Good intel. Sounds like Tartine is out. Delessio it is!

    2. Tartine's version tastes very good, but it's not what I think of as a tres leches cake (one of the milks is coconut). Dianda's is like a pineapple whipped-cream cake, also good, but also not quite what I was looking for. I've been avoiding Delessio because it reportedly has frosting; perhaps someone who has eaten it can confirm.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Prabhakar Ragde

        Here's an entry from a chowhound's blog,

        As shown there, Delessio's version is covered with meringue, lightly browned. It's been a few years since I've had it, quite sweet, IIRC.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I had Delessio's today. The meringue was totally unnecessary and I scraped it off after one bite, but even without it, the cake was too rich, too soggy, and too coarse in texture for me. My search continues.

        1. Ended up getting the 8 inch cake at Delessio. The cake was good, but different then some of the descriptions. Specifically it was not a layer cake as the link that Melanie provided suggests. The cake itself was good, nice and moist, but not to the point of being a gloppy mess. It was covered by a fluffy meringuey frosting that had been browned and was very sweet. Also, there was no fruit. My ideal cake would be layered with strawberries inbetween (similar to the Market Hall cake I believe). Overall, the cake was good, but definitely on the sweet side due to the meringue. One plus was the cake was only $32, half the cost of a Tartine tres leches cake.

          6 Replies
          1. re: sheriff

            Wow, unless Tartine has substantially raised prices, I could swear that its cake is a similar price, certainly no more than $40. I got one in Nov12.

            1. re: rubadubgdub

              Weird. My wife told me she called Tartine and they said $64, and you needed to order 72 hrs in advance, which is part of the reason that we didn't get it. We were only ordering one day in advance. Maybe she was mistaken.

              1. re: rubadubgdub

                Given the prices on their special orders webpage, it seems true. I gasped audibly when I read these prices: http://www.tartinebakery.com/special-...

                1. re: rubadubgdub

                  A 10-inch round cake has half again as much top surface area as a 8-inch round cake. The Tartine cake is quite high, so the total volume might be even greater, bringing the price differential down (though you may not want that much cake). But, yeah, Tartine is expensive.

                  1. re: Prabhakar Ragde

                    You don't have to special order the Tartine tres leches necessarily. I went in person and bought it out of the case and I'm positive it was not $64. However, it must be that the cake was smaller than the special order size, which would account for the price diff. How much smaller I don't recall. I'm sure they'd tell you by phone.

                2. re: sheriff

                  Since this thread specified Tartine and Delessio, I didn't link to old posts... FYI


                  Tres Leches is my favorite cake.
                  I'd like to taste that Tres Leches cake at Market Hall in Rockridge.