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tres leches bombe alaska

December 14, 2011

Imagine me, alone in my kitchen at half past eight on a Friday night with the girls coming over for lunch the next day.

The ribs were rubbed and waiting for a beer bath. The table was set.

And there was nothing on the menu for dessert. Nothing. For. Dessert.

(Ok, so there were the cookies I’d made earlier and a couple of punnets of cherries, but please. That was not going to do. Especially for an Argentinian barbecue themed Christmas feast.)

About then I remembered that something about a Latin American cake. Moist and soaked in all sorts of milky goodness.

Tres Leches Cake.

I followed (well, mostly followed – this girl is not good with rules) a recipe from Martha Stewart and in almost no time at all had two layers of dairy soaked goodness resting on my stovetop whilst the smell of ribs filled the kitchen.

To be honest, my immediate thoughts went along the lines of:

“Now-I’m-going-to-stack-and-cover-these-babies-in-whipped-cream-and-all-will-be-right-with-the-world-and-is-it-time-for-bed-yet? Please say it is. Oh no I have to wait up for the ribs. What to do? What to doooooo?”

So I sniffed the cake.

And I looked through the pantry.

And then I grabbed my big silver mixing bowl, a heap of glad wrap and the ingredients for my trusty two-ingredient ice-cream.

Because really, if you’re going to send out a Christmas lunch with a bang, you might as well do it with a big, makeshift-butane-blowtorch-ignited fireball. Amen.

shez + makeshift butane blowtorch = slightly manic grins

a bit of perspective (and my awesome christmas themed outfit). this cake is a monster.

It’s a long recipe so I’m going to cut to the chase and leave you with the following details:

1. This will feed 20 people easily. It’s rich. And sweet. And delicious. And filling.

2. You’d better have space in your freezer. I had to sacrifice my ice cubes. And a tray of dumplings. Just saying.

3. Don’t think about the sugar content. Really. Just this once. It won’t do you any good.

4. If you have leftovers (and you probably will) stick them in a container and pop it back in the freezer. Ours kept for about three days. But only because we ate it all in that period.


tres leches bombe alaska
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 20
 
(adapted, ever so slightly, from Martha Stewart)
Ingredients
for the tres leches cake
  • 5 eggs
  • 1C sugar
  • 1tsp orange blossom water
  • 125g butter
  • 1½C plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp salt
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups thickened cream
for the spiced ice-cream
  • 375ml condensed milk
  • 600ml thickened cream
  • ¼tsp ground ginger
  • ¼tsp nutmeg
  • ¼tsp cinnamon
assembling the bombe alaska
  • 1x tres leches cake recipe
  • 1x spiced ice-cream recipe
  • 8 egg whites
  • ¾C icing sugar
How to make it
for the tres leches cake
  1. Line two 25cm round cake tins with greaseproof paper. Just the bases. Don’t worry about the sides. If you don’t have round tins, use whatever you have, but you want to split the mixture into two tins so it isn’t too thick when baked.
  2. Crack the eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer (or just a bowl if you don’t have a stand mixer. In this case, warm up your arm muscles too). Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale, cream coloured, thick and fluffy. If you rub a bit of the mixture between your finger and thumb you shouldn’t be able to feel any granules of sugar. Add the orange blossom water and beat well to combine.
  3. Stir the baking powder, salt and flour together in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture a bit at a time, beating slowly between each addition.
  4. Melt the butter and let it cool. Fold the butter into the mixture with a spatula.
  5. Pour the mixture evenly between the two tins and smooth the top. Bake the cakes for 30 minutes in a 180C oven or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Whilst the cake is baking, whisk the condensed milk, evaporated milk, normal milk and thickened cream together in a bowl so that it has an even consistency.
  7. As soon as the cakes are out of the oven poke holes all over them with a skewer. I’m serious. All over. Lots of holes. Everywhere! Now ladle the milk mixture onto the hot cakes. Again, not kidding. One ladleful here, one ladleful there. Keep going until all the milk is gone. It looks like there will be too much liquid but somehow, miraculously, the cake will just drink it all up. Let the cakes rest for about an hour before assembly.
for the spiced ice-cream
  1. Tip all of your ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat for about five minutes. You'll know its done when the mixture has almost doubled in volume and you can see a trail when you flick a spoonful of the mixture onto its surface.
  2. a. If you aren’t using it for the bombe alaska, pour the mixture into an airtight container and put it in your freezer overnight, or for at least four hours. If you like, you can pull it out after a couple of hours and stir it so that it freezes evenly. Or not, it works almost as well.
  3. b. If you are using it for the bombe alaska, just hold tight and get ready to assemble. Don’t freeze it at this stage. Okay? Okay.
assembling the bombe alaska
  1. Carefully tip the cakes out onto baking trays or large plates with a rim. You’ll need the rim as the cake will start to release some of that creamy mixture and it’s best that you don’t have sticky dairy all over your kitchen counter.
  2. Grab a deep mixing bowl or a large tin. Line the tin with cling film. The best way to do this is to lay two long pieces on the table to form a cross and then drop them into the tin so the overlap is at the bottom. Make sure there is some overhang.
  3. Cut a circle out of one of the cakes to fit the bottom of the bowl. Cut the rest of the cake up into manageable pieces and line the cling-filmed bowl with pieces of cake, jigsawing them together so they cover the insides of the bowl. You should now have a bowl lined with cling film, then lined with cake and a big hole in the middle.
  4. Tip the ice-cream mix into the middle. Pull the cling film over the surface of the ice-cream and (using another piece if necessary) wrap the whole bowl up so that the cake and ice-cream are sealed in. Freeze overnight.
  5. Beat the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer until they reach soft peak stage. Add the icing sugar a bit at a time whilst beating and continue to beat until the meringue mixture reaches firm peak stage. Put it into a piping bag with a star tip.
  6. Up-end the frozen dome onto a serving plate and remove the cling film. Pipe meringue stars all over the bombe. Return to the freezer for an hour or until you are ready to serve.
  7. Use a blowtorch to scorch the meringue. You’re done!

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  • #1
    December 15th, 2011

    This is just beautiful! Go Martha!

  • #2
    December 15th, 2011

    Woahhh, this looks like one epic Christmas dessert! I’ve had tres leches cake on the brain since I had it at El Capo a few weeks ago, yummmm.

  • #3
    December 15th, 2011

    I’m sitting in a puddle of drool. This looks dessert and sounds marvelous!!!! Well done

  • #4
    December 15th, 2011

    O… M… G… how gorgeous and Christmasy does your bombe look. Fantstic Shez, truly gorgeous.

  • #5
    December 15th, 2011

    It’s soooooo pretty! Look at all those neatly piped rosettes of meringue, which results in a monster bombe which looks bigger than my head *faint*

    Um, merry Christmas!

  • #6
    December 16th, 2011

    Love how it looks! Hmm I’ve got all the ingredients at home.. but I doubt mine will turn out as nice as yours 🙁 will attempt this after the Christmas frantic ^^

    Ps. Cute tee!

  • #7
    December 16th, 2011

    This is the most amazing creation I have seen! Love your presentation Shez!

  • #8
    Allison
    December 18th, 2011

    This looks and sounds absolutely amazing.

  • #9
    December 19th, 2011

    i LOVE it!!!! that spiced ice cream sounds perfeeeeeect for christmas 🙂

  • #10
    December 20th, 2011

    I haven’t tried this dessert yet! Very tempted 🙂

  • #11
    December 20th, 2011

    zomg how majestic is this cake!!! i dont think i can ever pull sth off like this. yours is picture perfect from every angle too! what a way to end your dinner party! i love bombe alaskas so i’ll definitely muster up the courage to give your recipe a go one day!!

  • #12
    December 21st, 2011

    This looks heavenly! I love Tres leches cake – adding ice cream and meringue would only make it better – yum. Thanks for joining the hop!

  • #13
    December 21st, 2011

    This is like a work of art! You did an amazing job!

  • #14
    December 21st, 2011

    This looks awesome. I tried a bombe alaska earlier this year. It didn’t look half as impressive as this. Next time I’ll try piping the meringue as it looks gorgeous.

  • #15
    December 21st, 2011

    Wow, wow, wow!!!

    Shez – what a gorgeous looking cake! It’s just magnificent and I love the way you’ve styled this, too.

    Simply brilliant – well done!

    So very glad you joined this blog hop 😀

  • #16
    December 21st, 2011

    Wow!!! Now that is one amazing Christmas table centrepiece of a dessert! I love bombe alaska’s, although I haven’t had one in forever. You’ve given me a craving now though!

    Happy Holidays.

  • #17
    December 21st, 2011

    Stunning. How clever. Glad I found your blog.

  • #18
    December 24th, 2011

    that cake is HUGE. wonderful idea. merry xmas shez!!!

  • #19
    December 25th, 2011

    w.o.w I think this looks amazing. I want to try this.

  • #20
    December 27th, 2011

    OMG Its mammoth!!!! This is so awesome! Perfect for a crowd or a guts like me 😉 lol. Thanks so much for joining the hop

  • #21
    January 11th, 2012

    What a stunning dessert and you’ve executed the snowflake merignue perfectly!

  • #22
    January 13th, 2012

    […] Tres Leches Bombe Alaska – One Bite More Email, Print, or Share this Post: […]

  • #23
    July 1st, 2012

    thanks again for linking me this recipe! my bombe alaska turned out great all thanks to you ^^

Shez