Tres Leches Flan Cake

The following recipe was prepared for my Tamales cooking class. You can read about my class and get other links to recipes HERE.

Tres Leches Flan Cake

Cake:
1 (18.25 oz.) box butter/yellow cake mix and ingredients to prepare as directed on box
1 (12 oz) can of regular Coke or Pepsi

Topping:
1 (10.9-oz.) jar cajeta (caramel topping) or caramel ice cream topping

Flan:
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees

1.) Follow instructions to make cake, but use the can of coke instead of water.
2.) Set cake mix aside and make flan
3.) Put the flan ingredients in a blender and mix well
4.) Spray the bundt pan with Pam and then cover the bottom with carmel
5.) Pour cake mix into bundt pan.
6.) Pour the flan mix gently down one side of the pan. The flan will go to the bottom and the cake mix will raise up a bit as the flan mixture fills the bottom of the pan.
7.) Set the bundt pan in a larger pan or tray with water. You are creating a double boiler, but you only need a couple inches of water.
8.) Put it all in the oven and it will cook for at least 45 minutes and as much as an hour.
9.) Check the cake doneness with a toothpick. The cake will stay more moist than most cakes you’ve ever made and you will see it separate a bit from the pan when it is done.
10.) Let is cool and regigerate for several hours.
11.) Take it out two hours before you plan to serve. Turn the bundt pan over and let it sit while warming to room temperature.
12.) The bundt pan should then lift off to reveal a layer of flan, topped with carmel sitting atop a very moist cake.

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Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Dinner was a bust… as in not cooking what I had planned. My hubby picked me up from work and we ended up going to one of our fave Asian restaurants for dinner, Joy Yee’s. If you live in Chicago, you know Joy Yee’s pretty well… and if you live in Chicago and don’t, you better find a way to Joy Yee’s soon!

But I do have a recipe to share… for Key Lime Pie ice cream! I’ve been on a key lime kick lately and I was due for another creamy concoction from my ice cream maker. I initially wanted to use a recipe calling for egg yolks that require no cooking/tempering. Instead, I used this recipe, adapted from My Recipes.Here’s my adaption of Key Lime Pie Ice Cream:

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup bottled Key lime juice
1/2 cup whipping cream
Dash of salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
Key lime wedges (optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Pour mixture into freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Stir 1/3 cup graham crackers into ice cream. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container, and cover and freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon graham crackers. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired. **I’m also submitting this to the Got Milk? blogging event, hosted by Linda of Make Life Sweeter. She’s accepting recipes using milk, so if you have one, share it!**

Key Lime Tarts

And for dessert during our Independence Day, I made Key Lime Tarts, using a recipe from Peabody of Culinary Concoctions of Peabody. She has a delicious blog that always has me wishing I were in the Pacific Northwest! What inspired me to use Peabody’s recipe was the recent Tasty Tools blog event entry of Carrie of Carrie’s Sweet Life. Carrie recently made the same recipe last month. So seeing her recipe submission and having some fresh key limes from Florida on hand (from my friend Jessy), it was only logical for me to make it. Whoa – that was a long explanation for why I made this, huh? Sorry… I wanted to make sure I give credit where credit was due!Here is Peabody’s recipe for Key Lime Pie, which I made to fill small tart shells:

1/2 cup fresh key lime juice
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 to 2 teaspoons finely grated key lime zest, divided
5 egg yolks
whipped cream, for garnish
6 pre-made graham cracker tart shells

Whisk sweetened condensed milk with the egg yolks. Whisk in Mascarpone cheese. Stir in whipping cream and lime juice. Stir in 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest. Pour into a prepared graham cracker tart shells and bake at 325° for 15 to 20 minutes.

What a day in the kitchen! Although it wasn’t quite a day of freedom from cooking and baking, I thoroughly enjoyed it… and sharing my creations with my husband. Here’s wishing you all had a fabulous Fourth of July!

Horchata Hankerings

In our house, we don’t drink any sodas. We usually quench our thirst with water, fiber rich fruit juices (Odwalla or Trader Joes brand), ice teas, etc. But when our fridge had nothing but water to drink, I decided to make an alternative beverage.

Over the weekend I hosted a Mexican ethnic tour, however I missed out on something. Horchata, a sweet rice milk with a hint of cinnamon, is my drink of choice when I eat at a Mexican place. So since I didn’t get a chance to try the restaurant’s horchata last weekend, I made my own.

Taking a look at a few different recipes (like this one) and what I had on hand to work with, here’s my recipe for Horchata:

2 cups uncooked white long-grain rice
10 cups water
2 3-inch sticks of cinnamon
2/3 can of condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla paste (or extract)

Pour half of the rice and half of the water into a blender; blend until the rice just begins to break up, about 1 minute. Pour rice and water into a large pitcher. Repeat with remaining rice & water.

Add cinnamon sticks to the pitcher and let rice and water stand at room temperature for a minimum of 3 hours.

Strain the rice water into a pitcher and discard the rice and cinnamon sticks. Stir the condensed milk and vanilla into the rice water. Chill and stir before serving over ice.

Chocolate Flan Bundt Cake

Chocolate Flan Bundt Cake

Cake:
1 (18.25 oz.) box chocolate or devil’s food cake mix and ingredients to prepare as directed on box 1 (12 oz) can of regular Coke or Pepsi

Topping:
1 (10.9-oz.) jar cajeta (caramel topping) or caramel ice cream topping

Flan:
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees
1.) Follow instructions to make cake, but use the can of coke instead of water.
2.) Set cake mix aside and make flan
3.) Put the flan ingredients in a blender and mix well
4.) Spray the bundt pan with Pam and then cover the bottom with carmel
5.) Pour cake mix into bundt pan.
6.) Pour the flan mix gently down one side of the pan. The flan will go to the bottom and the cake mix will raise up a bit as the flan mixture fills the bottom of the pan.
7.) Set the bundt pan in a larger pan or tray with water. You are creating a double boiler, but you only need a couple inches of water.
8.) Put it all in the oven and it will cook for at least 45 minutes and as much as an hour.
9.) Check the cake doneness with a toothpick. The cake will stay more moist than most cakes you’ve ever made and you will see it separate a bit from the pan when it is done.
10.) Let is cool and regigerate for several hours.
11.) Take it out two hours before you plan to serve. Turn the bundt pan over and let it sit while warming to room temperature.
12.) The bundt pan should then lift off to reveal a layer of flan, topped with carmel sitting atop a very moist cake.

Sweet Kiss of Lime

On my day off, I checked my cupboards for something sweet I could whip up. Staring at me was a bottle of lime juice. Another cupboard was a box of graham cracker crumbs. On another shelf, I found some forgotten cans of condensed milk. Hmmm… seemed obvious to me that a key lime pie was in order!
Key lime pie usually consisted of key lime juice, eggs, sweetened condensed milk and sugar in a pre-baked pie or unbaked graham cracker crumb crust. The pie is traditionally baked with meringue on top.

Interestingly, canned sweetened condensed milk was used, since fresh milk was not commonly found in the Florida Keys before refrigerators were available. Also, true key lime pies are not green. Instead they are yellow just like the key lime juice and also due to the use of egg yolks in the traditional recipe.

Early recipes didn’t require baking this pie. When mixing the filling, the condensed milk and the acidic lime juice starts to thicken on its own. However, in the interest of safety due to consumption of raw eggs, key lime pies are now usually baked for a short time. The baking also thickens the texture even more producing a firmer pie.
Here is a recipe for Key Lime Pie Bars, which I made in a large pan instead of a pie pan:
(adapted from AllRecipes.com)

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons white sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup key lime or plain lime juice
3 eggs
1 pinch salt
1 pinch cream of tartar
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 lime, sliced

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Mix graham cracker crumbs with sugar and melted butter. Press into 9 inch pie plate and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Separate 2 of the eggs, placing the two egg whites into a mixing bowl. Reserve the yolks in another bowl.

To the yolks, add one whole egg, lime juice and sweetened condensed milk. Whisk until smooth. With clean mixer blades or a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff, but not dry. Fold whites into filling mixture. Pour filling into partially baked crust.

Bake in preheated 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 10 to 15 minutes or until set. Let cool at room temperature, then freeze 4 hours to overnight. Just before serving, whip cream to form stiff peaks. Serve decorated with whipped cream and lime slices.

I doubled this recipe easily.