¡Unas Carnitas y Un Cumpleaños!
That was the theme of a late December night at the lovely home of Dana. She was busy surprising Laura Jean for her birthday and her novio was busy whipping up his famous carnitas. I won’t dispel any of his secrets, though I have heard a few of them. I came bearing a cake, a carpenter and a dogface because what’s a birthday party without un pastel, un bigote and a trusty old perro?
In keeping with the carnitas theme, I added tropical flavors to a traditional tres leches cake and some paper piñatas for effect. I almost made a huge mistake by letting the lovely little ballerina have a slice of cake, but silly Quelcy, this cake is only for adults.
Luckily the little candle-blowing assistant was able to have a slice of a different cake. Truly sorry little one!
PSA: The alcohol does not bake out of this manjar! ¡No señor!
El Pastel de Tres Leches y Dos Frutas
Butter for pan
1 ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup evaporated cane juice sugar
5 whole eggs (local, free-range)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 Tbs Rum
1 fresh mango, cut into chunks
1 organic lime, both zest and fruit
1 (13-ounce) can organic coconut milk
1 (14-ounce) can organic sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup local half-and-half
1/3 cup rum
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces Agave syrup
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter and flour a 13 by 9-inch glass pan and set aside.
Whisk together the whole-wheat pastry flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low and with the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar over 1 minute. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary.
Add the eggs, one at a time and mix to thoroughly combine.
Add the vanilla extract and rum. Combine well.
Add the flour mixture to the batter in three batches and mix just until combined.
Shred the mango chunks, lime zest and lime fruit in a food processor. Stir the fruit mixture into the batter.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly (this will appear to be a very small amount of batter).
Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden and reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees F.
Remove the cake pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
Poke the top of the cake all over with a skewer or fork. Allow the cake to cool completely and then prepare the glaze.
For the Glaze
Whisk together the coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, the half-and-half and rum in a medium bowl.
Pour the mixture over the cake.
Refrigerate the cake overnight.
For the Topping
Place the heavy cream, agave and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat together on low until stiff peaks are formed. Change to medium speed and whisk until thick. Spread the topping over the cake and allow to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve
Bring to surprise birthday dinner and remember not to serve to small children!
Eat some carnitas, tacos and fixins first.
The carpenter using kitchen tools?!?! I have rarely seen this!
Salad or cake?
Well folks, we have a winner and a very happy birthday! The people have spoken with their forks…
and spoken a second and sometimes even a third time!