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Dolce De Leche Cake


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Hi Everybody,

Just doing some research on "Tres Leches & Dolce De Leche Cakes"

I have yet to taste these them, in my town I can't find them on any menu.

Please tell me what you know about them- are they infact always presented as cakes?

Do you have any good recipes?

Sorry, I can't even remember what the difference is between the two names.


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Hi Everybody,

Just doing some research on "Tres Leches & Dolce De Leche Cakes"

I have yet to taste these them, in my town I can't find them on any menu.

Please tell me what you know about them- are they infact always presented as cakes?

Do you have any good recipes?

Sorry, I can't even remember what the difference is between the two names.


I don't have a recipe for you, but I think that dulce de leche and tres leches translate as "sweet milk" and "three milks," or something to that effect.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh

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3 milks. More like a pudding, or a cake soaked in sweet milk. There's lots of recipes out there. I've used one from Foodtv.com and Epicurious.com, they're pretty much the same thing. If you like milky sweet things this is for you...next time I make it, I'm going to add something to cut it a little flavorwise. I'll check the recipes and see which one I like better. Gotta go to the dentist...so it'll be this afternoon.

(sweets = dentist?)

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You will find lots of different recipes of Tres Leches cake in the web. It is the hispanic tiramisu, everyone has his own favorite version. Basically, it is a round sponge cake sliced into layers and moistened with a mixture of three kinds of dairy, evaporated milk, condensed milk and fresh milk or table cream. Depending on the richness desired (or the country involved), they frost it with seven minute frosting, whipped cream or butter cream. I have come across ones that were based on butter cake too. An Argentian baker friend and his Mexican girlfriend gave me a version filled with cajeta which I believe is the mexican term for dulce de leche. If you have access to imports from Argentina, their dulce de leche is IMHO, one of the finest you can taste. Failing this, there is a thread on how to make dulce de leche by boiling an unopened tin of condensed milk for one to two hours.

Gato ming gato miao busca la vida para comer

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To elaborate on this a bit,

The ones I've made in a couple of highly rated Nuevo Latino restaurants, we generally used a genoise that contained no butter.

That's a very necessary feature, IMO.

You already are going to have a lot of richness coming from the sweetened condensed milk, the evaporated milk and the heavy cream.

The ittem I've seen the most in topping them is meringue, Italian meringue, typically.

On a chocolate one we made (with cocoa) we used a raspberry foam.

Passion Fruit would be nice, we've used a PF coulis with bananas frequently, it's one of the classics.

I think strawberry or cherry even would be nice.

Liquors always add a nice touch to flavoring the milks too.


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"Dulce de leche" means literally "sweet of milk" and is more correctly translated as "sweet made of milk." The one this thread is about is of a caramel consistency.

To be academic, there is also another type of 'dulce de leche' where milk is soured or curdled with lime and the curds are cooked in a sugar syrup (with other flavors, such as cinnamon stick and rum, depending on the country). It is eaten with a spoon, in small quantities. Believe me, it's delicious and a lot better than it may sound. This "dulce de leche cortado" is made in countries such as Puerto Rico, Ecuador and Venezuela, among others. "Cortado" means literally "cut" and refers to the curds in the milk.

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I also by far prefer meringue fopr a topping rather than whipped cream.

Going back to the original question though, here is my understanding:

- Tres Leches Cake, is a cake soaked in a mixture of three milks. Typically whole milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk.

-Dolce De Leche cake can be different things to different people. I mean the term Dolce De Leche means roughly, milk jam aka caramel. So a tres leches cake soaked in milk and dolce de leche can be dubbed Dolce De Leche cake I guess. I also have a recipe for dolce de leche cake with apples. So, you see as far as I know this name is not as clearly defined as the Tres Leche name.

Hopefully a more experienced pastry person might have a better explanation than mine.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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As a Cuban, most Cubans had never heard of this dessert (Tres Leches) until the Nicaraguans brought it to MIami in the early 80's. It is now found in every Cuban restaurant there! It is a Central American dessert which most spanish cultures have adapted recently. It is almost always a sponge cake, no butter, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cream. Topped with mereigue. There is a good recipe for it in the Joy of Cooking, also check out the website, Three Guys from Miami.

Dulce de leche was my favorite dessert as a little girl in Cuba. (It still is :cool: ). We had the cortado (not what we called it though) which we made from soured milk (good use no waste). It was made with a cinnamon stick and sugar, being cooked down until firm curds formed.

We also had the caremel type Dulce de leche, and the Fudge type Dulce de leche, all made with the same ingredients(minus the cinnamon, but cooking methods were differentl!

Mexicans have their own version of Dulce de Leche which they call Cajeta made from goats milk. They flavor it with different things at times such as vanilla and wine! This cajeta can be purchased at most well stocked Mexican markets.

Paris is a mood...a longing you didn't know you had, until it was answered.

-An American in Paris

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  • 1 year later...

I recently made a batch of caramel that was too soft and instead of incorporating it into my next batch I decided to try to make Dulce de Leche ice cream.

I made a basic custard ice cream recipe substituting the caramel for sugar when I simmered the cream and using an 1/8 tsp of cinnamon for a 1 quart batch.

I then used an electric frozen pot style ice cream maker to stir freeze the ice cream

When the ice cream was about cream of wheat consistency I added 2 Tbs of brown sugar for texture and flavor and then added the soft caramel to mix in.

Well, it came out pretty well but the caramel swirls got too hard and sank to the bottom of the batch while it was hardening in the freezer.

I think this batch was cooked to about 245 degrees F.

Does anyone know of a good temperature to cook caramel for use as a swirl in ice cream?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Shouldnt be somenthing more like a caramel sauce rather than a caramel per se for ice cream purpouse?So very soft and liquidy I mean that even if you froze it it will stay the same consitency as the rest of the ice cream.I make one that has both cram and butter and its very very liquidy .

250 gr sugar

150 gr corn syrup

200 gr heavy cream

from 75 to 120 gr butter


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Here's my recipe for dulce de leche ice cream:

400 grams heavy cream

150 grams milk (I use 2%, but it doesn't matter)

1 egg yolk

2 cans sweetened condensed milk

Using a crock pot on high, I simmer the cans of condensed milk for about 4 hours. Remove carefully and let cool completely to room temp. I do this step days or weeks ahead of time. Note that the can label warns you not to do this, so perform at your own risk.

I make a custard with the cream, milk, yolk, and one of the cans. After cooking and then cooling/aging the custard for at least 6 hours, I put this in the ice cream maker and make the ice cream. While this is freezing, I scoop out the other (chilled) can and put the contents in a quart ziplock bag. This goes back in the fridge 'til the ice cream is done. When the ice cream is done, I cut the corner off the quart bag and squeeze the caramel out as I spoon the soft ice cream into a container for hardening. You basically want layers of ice cream with layers of caramel. It will look great when you scoop the hardened product. I only use about 2/3 of the 2nd can since the whole can seems like it would be too much. This makes about a quart and a half in my machine.

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Using a crock pot on high, I simmer the cans of condensed milk for about 4 hours.  Remove carefully and let cool completely to room temp.  I do this step days or weeks ahead of time.  Note that the can label warns you not to do this, so perform at your own risk.

thanks Lee, that's the same procedure lots of people use for the carmel in flan. Makes sense. I'll try that next time for the caramel swirls.

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the recipe i have always used for dulce de leche, since i was a little kid is something like this:

1/2 kg sugar

2 lt milk

80 gr glucose

5 gr of sodium bicarbonate

Add 2/3 of the milk in a heavy saucepan, the baking soda and half the sugar.

Moments before it starts to boil add the rest of the milk and sugar

After boiling bring down to minimum and let it cook for 30 minutes.

Add the glucose and continue stiring up gently.

Keep on stiring and skimming until desire consistency, 2-3 hours aprox.

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